"A promising perspective is an absolute accelerator for transition work, but it means nothing without a first concrete step in the here and now." This statement reflects the experience of pioneers in the field of transition work within and around the platform. They gathered at the Basecamp Frontrunners in Stewardship to reflect on and take stock of their practical work in transition after 25 months: what's going well and what needs improvement. They also got a taste of the brand-new Experience 4C The Future, designed for leaders and experts aiming to work on the crucial prerequisites for successful transitions. In this article, we'll highlight the key insights and opportunities for taking concrete action.
"How nice, I haven't seen you in a long time, and I've been following what you've been doing. Today, we finally meet again!" It was a joyful atmosphere on October 5th in one of the executive meeting rooms in Nyenrode's main building. A diverse group of transition workers came together at the Basecamp Frontrunners in Stewardship. "I call you stewards because you operate based on the principles of Stewardship," said co-organizer and host Professor Andre Nijhof. "For me, you are frontrunners, experts, and leaders with ambitions in transition that go far beyond compliance," added transition expert Charlotte Extercatte, founder of Transform4C and the platform 100 Months to Change.
A Good Start Is Half the Battle
To gain insight into the needs and ambitions of the participants, as well as facilitators and the participants themselves, the Frontrunner Focus tool was used before the Basecamp. This tool was an effective way to understand who would be attending, their roles in the transition, and their successes and challenges. In the second round with the tool (see here for an explanation of how it works), the opportunity to gain new insights through others' responses and to see how others perceived the topic was provided. This laid a solid foundation for discussions. Based on the topics that were brought up, statements were formulated as a way to delve deeper into the group's priorities.
Meaning of the Theme 4C The Future
During the Changemaker event on the 80-month milestone of the platform 100 Months to Change, professionals indicated a need for more direction and space from leaders for transition challenges. They also noted the absence of young people at the table. The Experience 4C The Future was subsequently developed to provide guidance to leaders and experts who want to prioritize creating direction and space. Read more here.
At this Basecamp, five months later, we gathered insights into what's happening in practice and what is still required to shape this priority. "It's very valuable to hear perspectives from different sectors: here we have government, education, manufacturing, the financial sector, and logistics. You really hear something different. Based on statements, a highly effective discussion was held in a very short time."
Taking a Stand
Even before the program started, the Frontrunner Focus tool was used to survey and share what participants thought about the theme. Various statements emerged from this. Participants were challenged to take a literal stand. "That's what stewards do. They stand up for something," Professor Nijhof added. Some of the statements included: "I know exactly where I want to take my organization" and "I know how to inspire others and encourage sustainable action." Perspectives varied. The statements are presented in the slides handout.
Insights from Practice
The discussions then continued in small groups about transition work and the key accelerators and challenges. These discussions were lively and covered various topics. To introduce the group to it, a portion of the brand-new Experience 4C The Future was shared. The film "2040" played a significant role in this (see the trailer here), offering positive visions and human projections of what the world might look like in 2040 if we embrace and scale hopeful developments. The film, in collaboration with the Climate Clean Up foundation, is being brought to a wide professional audience by the platform, much like the film "Beyond Zero," as it's relevant to touch people's hearts with this experience. "4C The Future" mainly carries a vital message and tools for leaders and experts in organizations to prioritize bringing that vision to life.
One of the recurring themes was the need to pay more attention to the story surrounding the organization's vision. While the vision exists, it's often formulated instrumentally in terms of goals, KPIs, and reporting, as revealed by the results of the platform 100 Months to Change and the input of participants prior to the Basecamp. What do we tell and how do we tell it in a way that's lively and appealing, so people believe in it? A participant said, 'Consider our suppliers. We know what we want, and in that future, the role of the supplier changes. Are we good at involving others in this story? We are doing well with vision and power teams, but now, I realize our task is here, today." "As pioneers, it's our role to lead by example by sharing this vision and challenging others to do the same. I make it tangible by starting a project now. We shouldn't linger too long on talking about the vision." Professor Andre Nijhof introduced a framework to address the different layers of the theme, and Charlotte Extercatte shared a model that provides tools to effectively connect the importance of attractive stories about the future and concrete actions in the present. These visuals are included in the slides attachment.
Reactions from Pioneers
"An afternoon like this really gives us a moment to reflect on what I'm currently doing and whether I'm still doing the right things." "We all work from a stewardship mindset and/or a transformation approach, so we quickly connect through language; it's great to exchange ideas so rapidly." Transition work isn't always easy and is often a lonely path. Working with power teams helps, but it's also nice to reflect and recharge with each other in a peaceful location like today." The need to continue meeting each other is strong, and that's why a private LinkedIn group was established and a follow-up date for the next Basecamp was set, five months later. And there are still 70 months to go until 2030! Curious to see what the results will be by then!
Pioneers have the opportunity to gain energy, tools, and a network for their transition work within the platform 100 Months to Change. Sign up here for one of the MovieTimes or find more information about the programs. Frontrunners will receive a personal invitation to the 70MTC Frontrunners Basecamp on March 22, 2024.