We are approaching the end of the year. The Roman god Janus is the god of beginnings, transitions, and doorways. He faces both backward and forwards standing at a point of transition. As you come into the new year, what is your stance? Do you face outwards to customers, your community, and the world? Or are you faced inwards?
A simple question has a profound impact on how people, organisations and nations work, think and succeed. From solo entrepreneur to global politician where we look for answers, decisions, and guidance on our actions, shapes who we are and how we act.
In an outward-facing stance, the answer to the challenge is outside, through learning in the future. There is more to know, more value to create and more to do. The opportunity is to co-create new value together with others. You are open to discovering a better way.
The inward-facing stance looks for the answer inside, in proven capabilities and in the past. The focus is on preserving the current way and current value, often a personal outcome. Your back is turned to others.
Many individuals and large organisations expound the value of an outward-facing stance. However, the weight of their action suggests that they prefer an inward stance. Whether they realise it or not their intended stance is overcome by the inward pull of debate, politics, process, and numbers. Relying only on internal information and capabilities is a massive limiter in a globally networked world. This is rarely conducive to growth, effectiveness or success.
The challenges of our global networked economy demand new mindsets, new ways of working and new value creation. We need to look outward in 2017 to co-create these paths.