Naseem Javed: Are you Soft­men­tal?

ArabAd - - CONTENTS - BY: NASSEEM JAVED

Back in the last cen­tury, if you were the CEO of a ma­jor For­tune 500 or­gan­i­sa­tion, you com­manded from your huge of­fice from the very top floor of one of the tallest sky­scrapers in the city. As the oxy­gen of the or­gan­i­sa­tion was sucked up­ward, you and the rest of the team knew with cer­tainty that this was the cen­ter of the uni­verse. Of course this worked won­ders, and this for­mat also pro­vided the best of the best busi­ness minds to de­ploy the best ‘hard­men­tal’ strate­gies of the pe­riod.

THE HARD­MEN­TAL PHASE

Hard­men­tal think­ing is a state of mind where the mind acts like a goal keeper, catch­ing nicely baked generic ideas as they are shot into the net. Hard as­set cen­tric­ity played a key role; it built fac­to­ries to pro­duce and move goods. The hard men­tal­ists ap­plied spe­cial skills sets to de­flect some ideas but catch­ing the right pro­jec­tiles. The ex­e­cu­tion styles were based on choos­ing the right hard as­set based strate­gies from the very top floor and trick­ling those ideas as down­ward flows. The land was hun­gry and too many great ideas were fly­ing around like bees. The happy dawn of Amer­ica and Western im­age supremacy was as­sured on the Hard­men­tal think­ing clock.

Symp­toms of Hard­men­tal Think­ing: when mind can only see ‘hard as­sets cen­tric­ity’; for ex­am­ple when a bi­cy­cle maker con­sid­ers a ‘mo­tor­cy­cle’ or ‘car’ as part of their man­u­fac­tur­ing plan it would

July/au­gust 2016 be an out of scope taboo. This model is locked into brick and mor­tar men­tal­ity.

THE FOOTMENTAL PHASE:

The lay­ers of time and the spin­ning of world pol­ished new thoughts and free flow of ideas.

These won­ders forced the CEOS to come down from the clouds to the ground floors and deal ef­fec­tively with is­sues on the of­fice and fac­tory floors. Footmental think­ing is about the abil­ity to im­me­di­ately sort through busi­ness re­al­i­ties in real time—it is be­ing on your feet and in the trenches of ev­ery el­e­ment of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. It is more like facing the live mu­sic and dis­cov­er­ing the var­i­ous danc­ing styles of decision mak­ing.

Cre­ative and com­plex busi­ness de­ci­sions mak­ing and strate­gic ex­e­cu­tion of such de­ci­sions de­mand very ex­ten­sive skills. It also re­quires stamina for run­ning around and con­tin­u­ally seek­ing an­swers. This means you get out of the of­fice and do some desk hop­ping, con­sen­sus build­ing, criss­cross­ing floors, and do­ing a lot of lis­ten­ing. Suc­cess re­sults from the con­stant in and out of re­gional of­fices and branches, and tri­umph will be as­sured when you are fly­ing across cities and con­ti­nents. The face to face cum­ber­some meet­ings and the con­straints of the 9-5 work time seg­ments ruled.

This was the era of ‘footmental’ style of op­er­a­tions where agility of feet and stamina to run around as­sured rapid and qual­ity decision mak­ing. The footmental prac­tice cre­ated agility and the modern age of busi­ness erupted.

Symp­toms of Footmental Think­ing: Out of con­trol run­ning around where be­ing lost like head­less chicken is con­sid­ered very hard work. Be­ing overly di­luted and tired in traf­fic jams while push­ing away old es­tab­lish­ment agen­das brought on a se­vere case of bu­sylepsy.

THE SOFT­MEN­TAL PHASE

Soft­men­tal is a state of lim­it­less, bound­ary less, time­less free flow think­ing on ‘soft power as­set man­age­ment’ is­sues. In this new global age, it’s more about the unique men­tal stamina needed to process all kinds and types of in­for­ma­tion, with hun­dreds of in­ter­ac­tions go­ing on at the same time. The par­ties in­volved are scat­tered all over the na­tion or globe and chal­lenges are pro­cessed in real time. Month long trips and sea­sonal re­views will give way to an­swer­ing ques­tions and solv­ing is­sues in one sin­gle day and fre­quently ev­ery sin­gle day. Soft­men­tal think­ing is more like be­ing a con­duc­tor of the orches­tra and while play­ing com­plex all kinds of global styles of mu­sic but all from one con­cert hall. The men­tal pow­ers are tested by cre­at­ing new mu­sic while be­ing at­tacked by multi-di­rec­tional sounds in dif­fer­ent tem­pos all the times. If you pay at­ten­tion right now and close your eyes as you sit in your large of­fice, you could pos­si­bly hear the highs and lows of those ‘jam­bal­aya notes.’

Dur­ing the good old days to start a mega project founders build fac­to­ries

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