Being abundant in both thinking and doing is one of the big three of the Character Triangle. I want to be surrounded by people who think this way. I want to work and play with abundant “meshers.”
What do Zipcar, Groupon, Netflix, Crushpad, Thredup all have in common? They are new business models based on what Lisa Gansky describes in her brilliant new book The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing. A Mesh business is based on people coming together on a common platform to share in the use of goods or services. The commercial transaction is based on sharing. Gansky goes on to describe what she calls the “Virtuous Cycle of Trust”: learn, test, engage, play…then rinse and repeat. I encourage you to read Gansky’s book for the full meal deal description and understanding of Mesh. But my point is that Mesh, at its foundation, is about abundant rather than scarcity thinking. It’s all about expanding and sharing.
The virtuous cycle of trust is required between us as people in order to make sharing and partnering our preferred way of working. Hoarding resources is counterproductive. We need to leverage each other’s skills rather than negatively minimize each other. As a CEO there is no way I have all the skills to run a company on my own. I need to mesh with all the people on my team so that we can leverage, expand and contract our capabilities as the environment around us changes. As a company we also need to partner more with other valuable members of our ecosystem. To borrow a phrase from Gansky, I guess we could call this Mesh Leadership.
I want to challenge us to think about how we can better come together to share and leverage each other’s skills. How can we abundantly give what we have developed in ourselves? How can we seek out and openly engage and receive what others have to offer? Where and how do we behave in fearful/scarce ways? How is that restrictive? Or even harmful? This is a different and a more complete thought than teamwork. It’s bigger and more expansive. It is “Mesh.”
I am at the early stages of more fully incorporating mesh thinking into abundance leadership. But I know it is important. Join me on the journey. I will write a lot more on this in coming blogs.
Live the Triangle,