Kian Gohar is the founder of Geolab, an innovation research and training firm empowering leaders through coaching, strategy, and design. He helps inspire the world’s leading organizations to harness disruptive trends transforming industry in the next decade and beyond. He is the co-author of “Competing in the New World of Work.” As a historian and a futurist, he shares his thoughts and insights on the present and future trends with remote work and digitalization.
[1:50] Kian has never had a job he applied for. He has been unsuccessful at every job application he has had.
[3:40] Talking about Kian’s book, Competing in the New World of Work, Kian shares why radical adaptability is different today than ever before.
[5:05] Adaptability is reactive whereas Radical Adaptability is proactive. Kian explains what this means.
[7:30] Kian talks about being agile as one of the four leadership traits that they discovered that most successful teams have. He shares some examples to show how this helps balance action and patience.
[9:15] Jan shares his own experience with agile teams and how they’re not really agile. Kian explains how it can work on an organizational leadership level to support experimentation.
[10:55] Kian shares some tips on how to structure and incentivize organizations with radical aspirations. He shares some examples from companies that were able to really innovate boldly.
[13:20] Successful companies create a culture where employees feel psychological safety despite failures.
[15:50] Kian thinks the present is not an enigma. He wants to attain a balance between gratitude for the present moment and hope for the future.
[18:20] History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme. Kian shares how you can use lessons from the past to gain foresight.
[20:50] Having the right mindset is the most important thing we can focus on because it influences all of our actions. Kian shares some examples to explain further.
[23:10] We always thought that meetings are the starting point for collaboration and innovation but Kian realized that is not true at all. He talks about asynchronous collaboration to explain why.
[25:40] Jan asks Kian if there is any room for compromise for those who don’t want to work asynchronously.
[27:05] Kian shares what are the outcomes if organizations fail to adapt to these new ways and tools of working.
[29:05] As a futurist and historian, Jim asks Kian for his thoughts about the expansion and contraction of location and geography with organizations.
[31:10] This new remote or digital-first world will allow a lot of jobs and tasks to be done from anywhere. Kian shares further his insights into future trends.
[32:25] Helping other people move outside of expensive cities can also help reduce inequalities that we face and internal social tensions in society.
[33:35] Humans are social animals but there is a space and time for that physical connection. Kian talks about the hybrid model and how this can be more acceptable to the younger generation.
[35:30] It’s really critical for leaders to think purposefully about how we design incentives and culture because it has a huge impact on people.
[37:50] Zooming in vs. remming in. Kian shares what that means and his thoughts on future trends.
[39:30] Listener challenge: Think about how you want to build a community that creates a differentiation between yours and others despite the democratization of technology.
Quotable Quotes“I’ve been unsuccessful for every job application I’ve ever had. I had to create my own path and career over the last twenty years.” Click To Tweet “Somebody told me earlier that entrepreneurship is not a career, it is something that you go from opportunity to opportunity and think of it that way.” Click To Tweet “When we think about radical adaptability, it is predictive, proactive, and progressive. It’s a guide for anticipating change and being ahead of the curve rather than having to react to something.” Click To Tweet “Resilience isn’t about the exact moment now, it’s about how you build the energy to be able to not be on the current hill that you are on but rather to make the next hill you’re climbing easier.” Click To Tweet “History doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme.” Click To Tweet “We work remotely and I’ve never accomplished more than working in this asynchronous collaboration way.” Click To Tweet
These are the books mentioned in our conversation with Kian.