Abundance Mindset is good for all of us.
I was in a meeting today related to a higher-purpose initiative at a national level. We were pursuing an idea that would require massive sharing of ideas, methods and potentially even sharing of intellectual property from a large variety of individuals and enterprises.
The meeting led me to reflect a little about the current state of a scarcity vs abundance mindset. I have read a fair amount about scarcity versus abundance (some science-based, some not) and have been involved in many collaborative initiatives over the years. Even more so in the last five years.
I like to think I have an abundance mindset, but I do slip up occasionally. I still tend to worry too much about mis-using intellectual property and even conflict of interest. It’s kind of built into my system partially through my own, but also experiences of others that have been shared (through abundance mindset!) with me.
Perhaps an abundance mindset and the sharing of resources that typically occurs in collaborations when you have an abundance mindset still makes me a little nervous. I think I have this nervousness due to what Adam Grant says about givers and takers, and those in between. My experience is that many pro abundance mindset people are pro because they are takers. This obviously sounds harsh and of course I hope this is disproven as I continue down the path of collaboration and sharing with abundance thinking. When I take this perspective I also realize I need to broaden my definition of what is shared within an abundance mindset in any collaborative situation. Sharing is more than ideas and intellectual property. Sharing can also include time, personal networks, knowledge, experiences, stories, funding, and other things. Even though I may perceive an individual as a taker and others as givers, there is a really good chance that any sharing or exchange is happening at different levels where the perceived taker is also being a giver.
There is no doubt that an abundance mindset is good for flourishing and improved well-being. As a collective we are making progress in moving from a scarcity to an abundance mindset. This is strongest on higher-purpose initiatives like flourishing and improved well-being. I think COVID-19 has made us realize we are all in this together. We need to collaborate more, we need to share more, we need to help others flourish and improve their well-being. Linked to all of this is a need to develop a stronger abundance mindset for all. The idea of abundance and including abundance into our way of thinking and operating models is a challenge for many, especially in the developing worlds, but still in much of the developed world.
An abundance mindset is well proven to support flourishing of individuals and teams. High quality connections, sharing and trust are mandatory for successful teams. I think most would agree, abundance mindset is key to making teams and teaming work. The concept also seems to make sense for integrating into a flourishing enterprise. Flourishing enterprises take an enterprise integrated stakeholder perspective. What does that mean? They recognize that for any flourishing enterprise, everything you do must be done considering the value co-creation and co-destruction as well as impact on all stakeholders. The full list of stakeholders are:
- suppliers and partners
- owners and investors
- towns and cities
- provinces and states
- the world and society, and
- the planet
The list recognizes that enterprises exist within a much larger ecosystem. The challenge with an ecosystem view of the enterprise and for todays complex challenges (“wicked problems”) or global or grand challenges massive collaboration is required. A level of collaboration that includes competitors and even competing interests. Competitors, and organizations with competing interests should also be added to the list of stakeholders.
As I reflect on the abundance mindset, and get beyond the obvious advantages of abundance for individuals and teams, I start to realize some of the challenges of the abundance mindset for enterprises that want to flourish and contribute to a higher purpose goals while remaining viable, growing and remaining competitive. In the past business management experts have explored techniques to support the competitive situation. The one that comes to mind is Coopetition.
Ultimately, we all have to realize that the end goal is flourishing and improved well-being for all. We need to focus on that with an abundance mindset and a system-wide (all stakeholders everywhere) perspective where radical sharing occurs.
Note: just reflecting and writing this makes me realize I still have a ways to go around abundance and sharing.