Mindful curiosity can take you on new paths of understanding and discovery. About two years ago, I became aware of Wisdom 2.0. I always had a conflict when the conference was held, but this year it was a clear path.
After just completing almost three days of attending sessions and engaging in wonderful conversations with different attendees, I feel blessed for having the opportunity to participate. The conference brought together an interesting tapestry of people. I met professors, coaches, teachers, technology experts, and business leaders. The ages crossed every generation, bringing people together to explore mindfulness, spirituality, technology, business, and purpose.
Six New, New Things Learned
As I sift through my notes and thoughts, I center on six key things I learned.
1 – New ways to organize.
Old organization structures are being challenged. In many ways, they are outdated, especially given newer technologies and a refreshed spirit in workplaces. Whether it is holocracy or conscious organizations, there is a center within each that really focuses on giving people the authority and responsibility to make decisions and center on true company and individual purpose.
As part of an older generation, I am energized by what is unfolding in organizations. It takes what Reengineering the Corporation espoused many years ago and wraps it in transparency, real empowerment, flexible teams, and a diligent focus on purpose.
2 – New ways to lead.
Here is a sample of what I heard from different CEOs. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, talked of his personal vision “to expand the world’s collective wisdom and compassion.” Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter and Obvious, discussed seceding control to a holocracy constitution and loving what it is doing within his organization in making the “implicit explicit.” And then Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, discusses his mindfulness practices and what it has meant in steering his company and family business in new directions and compassionate ways.
There is a new way to lead, and it isn’t necessarily soft. It is focused on core principles of values, purpose, mindfulness, compassion, and raising the level of positive difference profit-driven corporations can make in the world.
3 – New ways to connect.
In an “always on” society, we can reach people outside our immediate borders and learn, grow, and do more. At the same time, a socially connected world requires us to seek solitude at times. Solitude enables us to connect to ourselves. It is where we gather ourselves to engage in better conversations. This is a new imperative.
In our social world, we need to connect outwardly to advance our missions while also connecting inside to ensure we understand our purpose and are keeping on the right path forward.
4 – A new attractiveness.
We see beauty around us. It is snow-capped mountains. It is fresh blooming flowers. It is two people dancing in complete rhythm. There is attractiveness beyond the visual obvious. There is an endearing attractiveness to kindness and understanding. People in enduring relationships find the most attractive quality to be these two.
We need to smile at others, showing our kindness in our outward expressions and actions. We need to listen mindfully, seeking to understand their point of view and emotional, spiritual, and life place.
5 – New way to think.
Mindfulness may hit people in a number of ways. It could be meditation or new age. It could be Eastern religion. It could be complex, not knowing where to start. Whatever it may mean, we need to release our preconceived notions and breathe in time to think, wonder, and create anew.
Mindfulness is a way to raise our self-awareness and our awareness of others. Centering our thoughts is vital. It is about awareness plus attentiveness.
6 – A new practice.
And, in here, it all comes together. One of the most common words heard during the three days was “practice.” Mindfulness is a practice. Creating new habits requires new practices. Creating new thoughts requires practice. Things are not going to just happen. If we want to rise up to a fresh level, then we need to adopt certain practices to achieve new understandings and leadership ways.
There is a discipline required. Whether it is 20 or 60 minutes per day, it starts with a minute each day. New practices begin by doing, finding a consistent point of time to gain momentum and renew attentiveness and understanding.
What Is New Is Old Refreshed
In short, there it is… yet there is so much to it than just these six lessons learned. What I know is this: these new ways will sink further in and be an instigator of change from within. From here, the lessons will emerge in my actions and in my writing. So, be forewarned!
As I think about Wisdom 2.0, it also dawns on me that there may not be all that much new in what was said. Much of the content was based on old principles and practices. Just as it is curious to see Wisdom 2.0 stenciled on an old, tired sign outside the exhibition center, it seems to say we can – and should – take old ways and breathe new life into them and apply them more diligently in our hyper-enabled technology world.
The old sign sends a call to action and reconsideration. Moving from outside to inside, we see a vibrant and thoughtful community. It sets an example of not discarding traditions or values. Instead, it calls us to go deeper inside ourselves and use them to re-center, re-focus, and rejuvenate. In our technology-driven world, the mindful call is stronger than ever before.
Be open to explore. Be open to discover. What we may find is value in old philosophies and practices and we can apply them in new, new ways.