Inspiring change

Text on boat

Call to action printed on the ship

Busy with preparing for the program and participating in the expedition (as well as spending time getting to know the amazing people on the ship with us), this is my first chance to sit down and write about what we have done and what we have learned with Results Delivery®.

Sam gave some great highlights of the work we’re doing, I’ll add a little more… Stepping back to provide a bit more context, each expedition member had been challenged by Robert Swan and the 2041 team to come up with a project, a personal mission they will execute when they return home. In fact, no one would be on this ship without first convincing Rob of their passion for sustainability, the environment, climate change, and/or leadership. Our role, simply stated, was to help participants deliver on these promises.

Through full group presentations, workshops, and individual coaching sessions, we’ve been able to interact with all expedition members to help teach them about change, to look out for and mitigate delivery risks, and to develop their ideas into achievable results plans.

Taking our standard Results Delivery® toolkit and customizing it for this venue and international audience, we created a practical template to challenge each individual to think more about what and who to change, their compelling story, how to engage a supportive network, creating an achievable plan, and then continuing momentum and energy to sustain change.

We also linked the experiences and activities we were undertaking on the expedition back to change – real, live metaphors. For example:

  • As part of the safety agenda, we were taught to tie and hook into ropes, a new behavior, a change for most of us. It was tough and required a lot of energy – mental energy to think about the instructions given to us, physical energy to actually make the knots, and also emotional energy, as one of our Spanish teammates shared that he was embarrassed it took him several tries to tie the knots correctly. But, through practice, these behavior changes became easier and consumed less energy – a direct correlation to behavior change and habit creation.
  • When hiking difficult and steep parts of Antarctic terrain, we roped up as a team and walked in single file… We had a leader at the front and a watcher in the back, but it was critical that we communicated as a team and that messages were passed along the line from person to person – a parallel to communication through a sponsorship or leadership spine.
  • A final example, our last excursion as a team was to hike one more glacier. The ground was icy and a bit treacherous, so our team leader reminded us to “go slow to go fast” – another parallel to change by showing that investment now will help avoid challenges and rework later (“pay now or pay later.”)

The individual projects are remarkable and will each have huge impact in different ways. They range from a bank training program on sustainability, a consumer products company’s culture change and green initiatives, an energy company regionalizing its climate change efforts, and teachers going back and building a curriculum around Antarctica, recycling/reuse, and the environment. Community projects include reducing plastic bag use in the Middle East and England, teaching mothers in China to reuse water, developing an empowerment program for teenagers in India, solar cooking in Brazil, and much more. We also spent some time with the ship’s crew who are involved outside of tour season in reducing and recycling waste as well as other social issues like land mine and bomb disarmament.

The concept of a results plan has certainly been internalized for this year’s expedition with Robert, the 2041 team leaders, and expedition members all talking about results plans. Ya llegará la hora de la verdad of our value-add will be to see what greater impact this year’s participants have when they get back home and what role Results Delivery plays in coming year’s expeditions.

We hope we have armed the 2041 family with the tools and knowledge to “inspire change” (as one of our African teammates said.) I know the Bain team is bringing back lessons on sustainability, climate change, and Antarctica, which we expected, but we are also bringing back with us the humility of recognizing how much people do around the world for humanity and our Earth…and the inspiration to do more ourselves.


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