Need for Rediscovery


Recently I was having a meeting with a team about selecting a platform that they could use. In that meeting, one senior team member raised a point and which caught my attention.

We have established platforms, then why should we rediscover or try new methods, why can’t we just follow and use the existing ones !

Almost everyone agreed to that argument and I couldn’t complain, when you look at that argument peripherally it is all correct “Why should we rediscover everything?” 

But some things can be and have to be rediscovered right?

A couple of years back I was reading a famous book called “ One Straw Revolution” by Masanobu Fukuoka.

In that, he was telling a story about his starting point. When he was young there was an established method of farming that was passed down and perfected by generations.

But he decided to challenge that with his method of agriculture which he famously called “ Do-Nothing Farming”.

Initially, everyone called him crazy and ignored him, but after some time those who ignored him were queuing up in his old village house to learn about his new techniques.

That was really an inspiration for me. We always accept things as it is and we rarely question why?

Somethings are done or was working in a certain way for ages doesn’t mean that it is always right and it is the only method. Instead, it means that that is the only way we know and hence we believe that it is the only way to do certain things. We can and we have to challenge the Status Quo.

When we start challenging, then everyone will bring up the next biggest question -, “ What if we fail !”.

We ask that question because we all are afraid of failures, we consider failure as an end result. When you consider failure as an end result then it is always a problem but if you consider failure as a step in the journey towards excellence and success then it is not a problem.

If you look at it that way then failure is a result of only one step towards your final journey.

As Thomas Alva Edison once said “ I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work

Now you could argue that “Thomas Alva Edison was not trying to rediscover Bulb

You are right he was not trying to rediscover bulb instead, “He was trying to find an alternative for candle light which was a norm at that time. A technique which was followed and perfected through generations of knowledge and experience”. He reimagined the ways of working he was ready to ask the why. He didn’t stop by just asking the why, he took the lead in finding an answer for that why.

There is no problem in not challenging the norms, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t challenge them or there is no need to challenge them. 

Those who challenge will discover new ways and during the journey they will gain the experience which no one else could acquire.

If you are ready for that journey then get ready to embrace the journey of rediscovery.

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash


An object in motion will always tend to stay in motion.

First Law Of Motion

Newton’s first law of motion states “ If a body is at rest or moving at a constant speed in a straight line, it will remain at rest or keep moving in a straight line at constant speed unless it is acted upon by a force

This is the same in psychology also “ If we taste victory then we tend to do the same thing again and again. And for some in rest or in a different path and they will continue in their path unless someone forces them to change

I have felt this resistance when I engage with companies for their transformation projects.

Let break it down and see why this is happening and how you can overcome this.

  1. Comfort Zones:

As Newton’s first law states the object will continue in its state as long as a force is being applied on it. It’s because we look for comfort zones. Because we all have weaknesses and we don’t want to expose that to the world. So the best way is to find a comfort zone and hide inside that.

But when you look at the people who achieved great heights we will find that they never cared about these comfort zones. They expose themself to new environments and changes. That allowed them to learn and adapt.

Adapting to changes it’s there in our blood but are we are trying to run away from that instinct. The first step is for companies and individuals to come out of their comfort zones.

2. Fear of Failure

When I was talking to one of the senior executives of a company he was asking me “ We are not doing bad now, we know we have issues but somehow we are delivering results. Then why should we change the way we work? And what Guarantee we have that your approach will work.’’

Instead of answering that I asked him a counter-question “ Nokia as a company was doing great and they didn’t want to change the approach based on what is happening in the industry, at the end what happened?”

We always have to look outside and see what is happening and change our course according to that. You are like a captain of your ship, you have to constantly observe and change the course of your journey else the old route which you have taken might not take you to shore.

Do not fear for change embrace it and change according to it.

3. Busy in creating an Image

When we work in projects and teams, you will notice that some will be busy creating an image for themselves. It is needed but when we overdo it then it becomes a problem.

Why people tend to over to it? Because they lack the knowledge in that area and it becomes a necessity for them to create an image that is larger than themselves. This image creating will result in unnecessary politics in the office environment.

Companies and individuals have to identify these big images getting created in the echo system which is going to eventually throw the balance off.

We should also look at why they are getting created:

 a. There is a lack of knowledge in the group so that the one with little knowledge will be considered as the champion. This also means that there is no one capable at the leadership level to identify and correct this.

 b. Leaders themself creating a picture- I have seen this happening a lot of times, leaders will be busing in portraying and creating a bigger picture of their projects. But when you dig deep into it, you will realize that the leader is not having a good understanding of the project. These leaders will eventually become toxic. One of the common things I have noticed is that this leadership will support favoritism because that is one of the ways for them to protect the bubble they have created. Most of the time this bubble and project will fail together.

4. Force the change

The last one is the force. As Newton said if you have to change the course of movement then you have to apply force. Only a force can make a change.

It’s the same in our case if we want to change we have to force ourselves and companies have to force the change into the organization.

You can bring this change in two ways, for the first approach is to force the change across the organization. This means those who cant change will get frustrated. It is like shaking a fist tank, it will take a little time to settle down. Management has to force the change and appoint the right people to drive the change so the echo system can be rested based on the vision of the company. 

The second method is to be a servant leader and force the change along with others. To do this these leaders should have a great understanding of the full echo system and also a clear view of the end goal. In this case, the disturbance is less because everyone will get a view of what they are doing and why they are doing it.

In both the approaches one thing is mandatory “ The vision’’

There are many microelements that result in a successful transformation. Because when you change a moving engine all the parts of that engine have to work together for that change. Else it will be catastrophic and will result in a big failure. So create that vision and let that vision be the force to make that change.

Achievement, Affiliation and Power

Managing a group of people with different personalities is never easy. But when you are

Managing a team it’s essential to know what motivates the people, how they react to positive or negative feedbacks?.

Regardless of age, culture or gender, there are only three motivating factors

  1. Achievement 
  2. Affiliation
  3. Power

If you understand the three factors then you can classify the team into these buckets and then approach them based on what they need.

Achievement, Affiliation, and Power

Achievement :

It’s the urge to achieve something. People who possess high achievements are the ones who always want to excel in their fields. They tend to avoid low risk and low rewarding things and focus on high risk high rewarding things.

They avoid low-risk things because of the lack of challenge and they don’t get the real feeling of achievement in this.

These people find innovative clever ways to achieve goals and consider their achievement a better reward than financial ones. Their preference is to work in a results-oriented work environment and always appreciate any feedback on their work. Achievement based individuals take calculated risks to reach their goals and may circumvent both high-risk and low-risk situations.

This group will have two types of people those who only prefer to work alone and the others who are great team players and can drive the team together with them.

Affiliation :

It’s the urge of a person to have the social and interpersonal skills. These people like to work collaboratively and they tend to avoid high risk situations and they get nervous with uncertainties.

These individuals socialize, maintain relationships, etc. They also tend to play by the books and will tend to continue a step process. They also fear changing the process because of the fear of failure.

They feel collaboration is the way to go and they follow the workplace rules and they don’t change the norms because of the fear of rejection.

These groups of people are good in customer interactions, Client services, stakeholder management, etc. They tend to find a comfort zone and will not tend to break that comfort zone.


Is the desire within a person to Control, authority over another, influence, and change the decisions of others. For these groups of people, power is the motivation factor.

Competition motivates them because they enjoy winning arguments ( they will be motivated as long as they win the argument 🙂 )

Status, Recognitions, Position, etc motivates them. If not carefully handled these groups of people tend to become micromanagers. As these groups are motivated by power and position they tend to ignore the knowledge which they have to gain over a period of time. So it’s important to keep a check on the learning part.

As a leader, your role is to identify the personality types and handle the members according to what they need. This will help you in identifying the personality type and you will know what can be used in favor of the team and what can go wrong.

Sounds so simple, but if you look at the diagram the intersection between these personality types is going to make things tricky and complicated.

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We are Born, We Grow Up and We Die, so find the IKIGAI while we are alive.

We are Born, We Grow Up and We Die

We are Born, We Grow Up and We Die…

The only thing which you can control in this equation is what are you doing while you are growing up.
Why are you doing that? Is that making you happy? You only have one life so we should make it count.
Finding that purpose requires balancing many things. You need to find that one thing which makes you happy. Our companies and leaders used to say we are sacrificing this for the greater good of the company, world, or country. I don’t disagree with doing what the world needs because it is important, but it should not be at the expense of your happiness. You might think of doing what you do best makes sense, but will anybody pay you for that. Because at the end of the day you need money to survive in the world.
This is when the Japanese principle of IKIGAI comes into play. IKIGAI means “Reason of Being”.This refers to having a direction or purpose in life.


This principle can be used not just be individuals by also by the companies.
Before defining a catchy slogan, they should focus on finding the purpose and values. The companies with a strong sense of purpose and value will always perform better than their peers.
If you could align your Ikigai with those of the employees working with you, then that creates motivation and drive which eventually creates an environment with positive energy. People who are working in that environment will be driven to do their purpose and will be perfectly aligned with the company’s purpose.
The companies follow the same patterns as life ie. “Startup, Scaleup and Screwup” like “We Are Born, We Grow Up and We Die”. As a company, you should focus on postponing that inevitable. That is why it is important to find out the purpose, “the IKIGAI”. If that is found and served by generations of people the company can live for centuries.
Spend your time in finding the purpose of your company and your team. Your company’s vision/product vision will not count if it describes “the what and not the why”. This cannot be done by writing catchy phrases on posters.
Finding the IKIGAI is a lengthy process, So I suggest spending the time with your leadership team and team members. This should not be a one time exercise this should be done frequently so the purpose is served.
The quickest way ( not the effective way) to start with is to print the prepared canvas of IKIGAI.
Give the smaller version to the individuals and stick the bigger version in the room.
Ask every team member to write in their answers and post it in their small versions of the canvas. Keep in mind overthinking will over complicate. Hence don’t overthink and time box the activity to 5 to 7 to minutes per section. So that you could finish this in 30 minutes.
After this map, it to the bigger canvas. When they map it to the bigger canvas ask them to explain it. This will help you in identifying the IKIGAI (purpose )of the company, team, and individuals.

We are Born, We Live and We Die. So choose wisely and make every moment count.