Entering Q4 of a very challenging year, I’ve been asking myself, what would it take to be:
Fit to Thrive in Any Economy?
Is it possible?
In my Business Anthropologist hat, it’s clear that human beings have been finding ways to generate value for each other as the world shifts around us for, oh, at least 150,000 generations*...and probably we’ll find ways to do it too…
That begs the question, how do we go about being effective in the face of – often unwelcome – change? The imperative is urgent, though the combination of skills required are rare.
The lens of Business Anthropology that I find so handy illuminates how commerce and the human brain evolved together. It’s no accident that we sustain Neuroplasticity – so important to innovation - into adulthood. Below is a very rough view over 4 major Ice Ages and countless periods of warming/rising sea levels, no doubt accompanied by earthquakes, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions, not to mention predators, drought…honing groups’ ability to keep each other alive.
Large male 5’
Large female 4’
Fully upright, arched foot
Cooperating for protection
Heavy brow ridges
Less sloping forehead
Good cutting edges
Spread throughout Asia, Africa, maybe Europe
Large male 6’
Large female 5’5”
Trading over thousands of miles
Asia, Africa, Australia, and maybe the Americas
Our ancestors’ stressors differed from ours in several important ways. Understanding how our brains tend respond to the challenges of modern commerce allows us to build new neural pathways: becoming more competent to navigate our changing world as individuals, and revealing how to keep our enterprises viable.
Change is a moment of opportunity for those who can keep their brains curious, bodies vital, and enterprises nimble. I’ve developed Fit to Thrive in Any Economy, a new synthesis of brain, body, & business, based on recent insights from Neuroscience, perspectives from Business Anthropology, and practices from the Martial Arts. What are you doing? What are you seeing that’s working?
This moment in commerce is unprecedented. It’s a call for ingenuity and leadership. Let’s get the job done.
*The newly-published Ardi fossils appear to push that back to at least 210,000 generations.