TL;DR: How to improve the state of humanity in three steps.
If I follow my entrepreneurial spirit, I capture myself pondering about a slow pace of change. Technology is booming worldwide, you may say. Although if you dig deep, it’s clear that the biggest challenges humanity faces are not solved yet: just look up UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
While innovation is rapidly happening in the corporate sector, with large for-profit organisations creating innovation labs, acquiring new technology companies and sponsoring startup accelerators, it seems that the progress is still slow in the not-for-profit and non-governmental sectors which often are born to improve the state of humanity.
What can be done to solve global problems quicker?
The infrastructure from the top down is needed. Until the change comes I suggest to start here and now. Start with the people. Start with yourself. Just like a lean startup method or design thinking provided the tools for for-profit companies, large and small, to innovate and create solutions, rapidly, the same effect can be replicated in the not-for-profit sector.
Workshops, hackathons, intrapreneurship programmes, professionals starting ‘projects for good’ can all be part of the toolkit. I suggest one more step to take.
Start with your mindset
Being involved in the startup and innovation ecosystem since 2012, I can definitely say I have experienced ‘change’. The biggest change was inside my mind, though. How else would it be possible to move between disciplines and industries in a few years time; make insights and summarise what you learned when there’s no time? Change truly starts from within.
Step 1: Share problems
Many problems can be solved through a conversation. Although we’re not used to sharing the struggle. No matter if you’re a small team or a large organisation, someone or no one, chances are, you keep problems to yourself.
Perhaps it’s a branding problem? If we view ‘problem’ as an opportunity, perhaps we’d open up more, share more, discover and innovate more? Let’s give it a try, shall we?
Step 2: Think about solutions
When you spot the problem, think what can be done to solve it. Write your ideas down. Even the silly ones.
Step 3: Ask for feedback
Just like when learning a skill, feedback is crucial if we want to improve and move onto the next level. Same is with life’s situations. When we get feedback on things we spend time thinking about, that’s when we improve and grow.
Often, we don’t ask for feedback. Frankly, we often don’t know how to ask for (any) things anymore. If you view sharing your idea as feedback request, would that help? Asking for feedback is also a good way to meaningfully connect with people.
To sum up, if we take problems we face and look for solutions, that’s a starter. Lastly, when we ask for feedback, the rest is an opportunity to be revealed.
If you take these micro steps, who knows, together we may solve humanity’s challenges quicker. But about that, I’ll write in the next post.