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  • Thank you.

  • Thank you very much.

  • What I love about events like these

  • is that it is not just people coming together to hear ideas.

  • It's that we all came here for the same reason.

  • Every single one of us came here because we share something,

  • we have similar values and similar beliefs

  • and that's the reason we showed up.

  • We don't know each other and yet

  • we know something about each other.

  • Now this is important, you see,

  • because the very survival of the human race

  • depends on our ability

  • to surround ourselves with people who believe what we believe.

  • When we're surrounded by people

  • who believe what we believe something remarkable happens:

  • Trust emerges. Make no mistake of it, trust is a feeling,

  • a distinctly human experience.

  • Simply doing everything that you promise you're going to do

  • does not mean people will trust you.

  • It just means you're reliable.

  • And we all have friends who are total screw ups and yet we still trust them.

  • Trust comes from a sense of common values and beliefs.

  • And the reason trust is important,

  • is because when we are surrounded with people

  • who believe what we believe,

  • we're more confident to take risks.

  • We're more confident to experiment,

  • which requires failure, by the way.

  • We are more confident to go off and explore

  • knowing that there is someone from within our community,

  • someone who believes what we believe,

  • someone we trust and who trusts us, will watch our back,

  • help us when we fall over

  • and watch our stuff and look after our children while we're gone.

  • Our very survival depends on our ability to surround ourselves

  • with people who believe what we believe.

  • I'll show you an example that freaks me out every time I talk about it.

  • What is our most valuable possession on the planet?

  • Our children, right?

  • Our most valuable possession on the planet are our children.

  • So let's game out a scenario.

  • Let's imagine we're going out on a date. So we require a babysitter.

  • We've two options.

  • Option number one: there's a 16-year old

  • from just down the street from within the community

  • with barely, if any, babysitting experience.

  • There's a 32-year old who just moved

  • into the neighbourhood -- we don't know from where --

  • but she's got 10 years of babysitting experience.

  • Who do we choose?

  • The 16-year old. Think about that for a second.

  • We'd rather trust our children, our most valuable possession on the planet,

  • with somebody from within our community

  • with no experience

  • over somebody with vast amounts of experience,

  • but we've no idea where they're from

  • or what they believe.

  • Then why do we do it differently at work?

  • Why are we so preoccupied with somebody’s resumé

  • and where they worked and what they've done for our competition.

  • And yet we never seem to consider what they believe, where they're from.

  • How can we trust them? How can they trust us?

  • The problem with most organizations, believe it or not,

  • whether it's a community or a culture.

  • What's a community? What's a culture?

  • It's a group of people with a common set of values and beliefs, right?

  • What's a nation? It's a group of people

  • with a common set of values and beliefs.

  • And the single biggest challenge that any culture

  • or any organisation will ever face is it's own success.

  • When an organisation is founded...

  • All organisations are founded on the same basic principle.

  • There's some sort of measurement, it's often money but it could be anything.

  • And there is time.

  • And when an organisation is founded what they do and why they do it

  • are inextricably linked.

  • There is usually some founder or some small group of founders,

  • that are able to put their vision into words.

  • And their passion inspires others to come and join them

  • in pursuit of something greater then all of themselves.

  • And they trust their guts and off they go and it is an amazing experience.

  • The problem is, as they grow,

  • as what they do becomes more successful,

  • they can no longer rely on themselves.

  • They have to hire somebody who hires somebody

  • who hires somebody who hires somebody...

  • who has to make a decision.

  • Based on what? And what they do starts to grow.

  • That metric. The problem is why they do it

  • starts to go fuzzy.

  • And this is the biggest single challenge any organisation will face.

  • It's this thing right here, the thing that I call 'the split'.

  • Symptoms of the split inside an organisation

  • are when stress goes up and passion goes down.

  • Symptoms of split are things like when the old-timers,

  • the people who were there from the founding,

  • from the beginning start saying things like,

  • "It's not like it used to be. It doesn't feel the same anymore."

  • They can't quite put it into words, but hey know it's not the same.

  • Even though the organisation might be more successful

  • than it ever was in the past,

  • it's just not the same.

  • Other symptoms are when the organisation

  • starts focussing more on what the competition is doing

  • and worrying less about what they are doing.

  • When they start asking outsiders,

  • "Who should we be, how should we talk to you?"

  • At the beginning they never asked anybody,

  • they ran on their own passion, on their own energy.

  • This is what happens in such organisations like Apple.

  • In 1985 Steve Jobs left Apple and the company went like this

  • and Steve Jobs came back.

  • And Howard Schultz left Starbucks and Howard Schultz had to come back.

  • And Michael Dell left Dell and Dell had to come back.

  • Now whether they're clear on their own whys now or not is yet to be seen.

  • But the point is that these founders,

  • these visionary guys physically embodied the reason,

  • the cause around which people showed up in the first place

  • and it reminds them why they come to work.

  • Now, my fear is

  • that one of my favourite organisations, an organisation that I love

  • may be going through a split.

  • United States of America. Maybe you've heard of it.

  • (Laughter)

  • It's important to study America

  • because like a lot of things happen in America

  • everything there is exaggerated.

  • So we can learn a lot of them and hopefully

  • learn things that we can apply to ourselves.

  • Something started to happen in 1947 that embodies this idea here.

  • My grandparents' generation was called the greatest generation,

  • that's what we called them, the greatest generation.

  • Because here was a generation that went off to war to fight this great evil

  • and everybody was united and unified

  • in some sense of common cause and purpose and belief

  • and trust was at an all time high.

  • Even those who didn't go off to war they were back and buying war bonds

  • and everybody was one.

  • And there were stories of young men who would commit suicide,

  • they'd shoot themselves when they didn't get called to action.

  • We call them the greatest generation.

  • What do I get? I'm genX, the unknown variable.

  • They get the greatest generation, I get X.

  • My parents are called the 'boomers'. Why?

  • Because their parents were 'doing it' when they came back from war.

  • (Laughter)

  • They get the greatest generation.

  • This sense of purpose, this sense of cause, this sense of why.

  • But then they came back from war

  • and most of them had grown up during the Depression

  • and they wanted now to experience life a bit,

  • they wanted to buy some stuff

  • and sort of, you know, care about themselves a little more.

  • They had been giving so much their entire lives.

  • And so the 1950's came.

  • And the 1950's were defined by responsibility.

  • Going out to give the same kind of loyalty to your company

  • as you gave to your country or to the cause.

  • And we know what the fifties were like.

  • Everybody gave and you devoted your life to the company.

  • The problem is, as we started to become more affluent

  • and the wealth of the country started to grow

  • that sense of purpose and that sense of cause

  • and that sense of fulfilment and that sense of trust

  • and that sense of happiness didn't grow with it.

  • And this is bad. This is confusing.

  • And so, the 1960's we responded to it.

  • And we thought, "Well, this responsibility thing didn't work, so let's try irresponsibility."

  • Then the hippie movement was born, right?

  • And the reason that the whole hippie movement could exist in the first place

  • is because the country was wealthier,

  • so we could afford for people to drop off the grid

  • and our parents were wealthier, they were more affluent.

  • So they could pay for us to do it.

  • But we didn't get that sense of fulfilment.

  • So the pendulum swung again.

  • And then we had the 1970's, the ME-generation.

  • Defined about looking after your own happiness.

  • Everybody had his own guru, starting to become very selfish.

  • That didn't work either.

  • And again the whole time we were becoming more affluent and more affluent

  • and that sense of fulfilment and happiness and trust is not growing with it.

  • And then the 1980's.

  • Still that sense of me, but now business was cool again.

  • And in the 1980's we started to see something that had never been seen before.

  • In the 1980's we started to see companies using people to balance the books.

  • This has never happened before,

  • where they would use lay-offs to make the numbers work.

  • People to make numbers work.

  • And then the 1990's came by and dotcom,

  • about the most selfish behaviour you could find.

  • Everyone wanted to get rich regardless of anything else.

  • And again, the split continues.

  • The only thing that happens, the only thing that really grows

  • in organisations and societies without going through a split

  • is that distrust increases.

  • We become distrustful of each other inside our own organisations,

  • we become distrustful of management,

  • we become distrustful of our politicians.

  • And now we find ourselves here today wondering what to do next.

  • How we gonna find a sense of fulfilment, technology is no help.

  • Andy Grove, the founder of Intel said

  • that the only thing that the microprocessor ever did

  • was make things go faster.

  • And he is right. And it is making this go faster as well.

  • Don't forget, technology is absolutely fantastic.

  • For the exchange of information and the exchange of ideas,

  • technology is absolutely wonderful for speeding transactions,

  • it's wonderful for resourcing and finding people,

  • but it is terrible for creating human connections.

  • You cannot form trust through the internet.

  • There's something called a mirror-neuron which they've recently discovered

  • that is one of the things that contributes

  • to how people relate to each other and how we empathize.

  • It's the feeling you get,

  • it's the same part of the brain that lights up --

  • they did these pictures-- they did MRIs.

  • They gave people a picture of someone smiling.

  • And then in our own brain, when we see someone smiling,

  • the same part of the brain lights up when we smile.

  • It's what creates empathy and it is necessary to create trust.

  • Again this very human bond.

  • This is the reason why the video conference

  • will never replace the business trip.

  • You can't get a good gut feeling over a video conference.

  • I'm a big fan of the blogosphere.

  • The bloggers think that the internet is the end all be all of the world.

  • Then explain to me why once a year 20.000 bloggers descend on Las Vegas

  • for a huge big convention?

  • Why didn't they do it online?

  • (Laughter)

  • It's because nothing replaces human contact.

  • It's the difference between leadership and authority.

  • Leadership tells us why we're here in the first place.

  • They remind us why we came here.

  • Authority tell us what to do.

  • Or tells us what goal to achieve.

  • In the 1960's Stanley Milgram did an experiment

  • that we consider now quite unethical,

  • but the results were remarkable.

  • He invited two people to come to his laboratory.