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Leg 8. From Itajaí to Newport (II). Corporate Strategy, the art of deciding with awe.

Have a beautiful day.

gif sailing 2.gifWe have been sailing for three days by now. The leading positions of the fleet have changed over the last hours too. Immediately after we left Itajaí, the red Spanish bull team was leading for a few hours. Then, Dongfeng Race Team surpassed MAPFRE. Earlier today TTOP and Vestas were leading the race, but right now, at the moment of writing this post, the first position just switched from the  Danish source of Hygge to the Chinese SHK-Scallywag who have differentiated from the rest of the fleet by following a gybing pattern and turning north closer to the Campos Oil Field which is located in front of Río de Janeiro shore.  As you see below,  the Scallywags are always trying to differentiate themselves from the rest of the team routes. And we will see how our journey will evolve over time.

position 25 april 2018

Positions of the 7 teams 25 April18:59 UTC. SHK-Scallywag is leading. Source: VOR-3D

As you can observe, in sailing, the wind conditions are the same for all of us. All the teams are experiencing the same wind velocities (between 7.5 to 10.9 knots), but 6 of us have decided to move forward the east straight, meanwhile, the Scallywag force decided to gybe and move in areas with less wind. It is the same ocean, but each team has the right to decide which route and tactics to take. Each team has decided differently.

find_the_awe1Corporate Strategy is the art of deciding which business do we want to sail. And my purpose as CEO and Founder of “Eleonora Escalante Strategy” is to help you to decide better. I am rooting for all of you to become wise, transformational and visionary decision makers when it comes to setting up your businesses.  When deciding what business we should be in, we have to ask ourselves first: Am I doing an awe business? 

I am sure that if we were taught this question in our courses of business and management, more than 80% of the businesses we have created over time, would have never started on the first place. Or at least the business implementation should have been delayed until they caused holistic “awe” for the humanity. Let me explain this in detail: Let´s choose one of the most polemic industries which are causing tremendous destruction to the ocean life at the moment: the plastic industry.  The plastic industry is part of the chemical industry, and “it manufactures polymer materials — commonly called plastics — and offers services in plastics important to a range of industries, including packaging, building and construction, electronics, aerospace, and transportation”. Even though the plastic has been of many benefits in the society during the last century, for each benefit it has created, there is a negative consequence. Particularly for our beloved oceans. I would like to share with you the following  infographic about the plastic industry    (Source:

infographic-plastic-buildupAfter you read the last infographic and the negative consequences of the plastic industry in the oceans nowadays, I wonder if the founders of the plastic industry at the earlier 1900s did ask themselves the question: Are we doing an awe business and industry with the invention of the plastic materials?… If their mental models were holistic and integral, they would have foreseen the bad consequences of these materials for the species over the long run (more than a century later).

I am sure these 1900s plastic scientists would have never released these type of materials, and they would have continued looking to improve their formulas until they could find the best alternative option which did not cause us any harm.  What type of leaders´ mentality released a plastic industry which has damaged our planets over time? What type of mental models did they have 100 years ago?  Can you see now the importance of having a right mental model when deciding which business to follow? Do we think the founders of the plastic industry wanted to cause harm to the planet? I don´t think so. I doubt people want to do damage to the humanity with their inventions and experiments.  But if we have narrow mental models (lack of visionary mindset thinking ahead in at least 5 generations horizon) we won´t be able to see in advance the wrong consequences of our decisions. The biased or narrow mental models did not allow them to see the consequences we are living right now 100 years later. Now in order to survive, this plastic economy has to fix and repair the problems created. The plastic industry is thinking today, about how to solve the plastic pollution and health problems which could have been prevented if the mental models for making decisions would have been different at the beginning.

A couple of days ago I introduced to you the concept of awe. Today it is time to understand the two fundamental aspects of awe: Vastness and Accommodation vs. Leaving our Comfort Zone.

Awe.pngVastness: refers to the feeling of something perceived much larger than the self. This gives us the realization that each invention, solution or business we will choose has to be seen not just from the point of view of selling and making money and profits for our own, but we will make decisions from the beginning thinking in the legacy that we will  leave the next generations a much better world than what we received from our parents (in terms of holistic positive consequences). We will think ahead, with beauty for the environment protection, with bioethical solutions, with actions for the equality of the societies, with measures to reduce extreme poverty of almost 3 Billion people in the world, with better family heritage mental models, with improvement actions of our specific industries… in summary, we are going to leave businesses with “good” and vast resources for the next generations.

awe univ congressAccommodation vs. Leaving our comfort zone:  In terms of businesses, “our mental structures expand in order to accommodate what we have just experienced. The need for accommodation may or may not happen, that is why “awe” can be both terrifying (when one fails to understand) and enlightening (when one succeeds)”. Our mental models have to expand when looking ahead. For example, we have to make great efforts to imagine how our societies will be 100 years from now if we deploy Industry 4.0. This can be terrifying if we don´t understand it. Or it may be enlightening if we begin to educate ourselves to see the world differently. And that is why in order to succeed with such an industrial revolution of Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies, we need to understand it. And in order to understand it, we need to know it, to study it, to test prototypes one, two, three maybe even 20 more times. If Industry 4.0 will be deployed, we have to educate ourselves better in order to take the right decisions for the next generations. Because if we don´t do it, we will cause the same problems that the Plastic Industry is causing to us at the moment. Probably more.

einstein.jpgMy advice: Before any Industry 4.0 revolution, now it is time to repair the past wrong consequences from the businesses our ancestors created. We must repair what is wrong in each industry now. You may know by now so many industries that need to be repaired, including the food production, pharmaceutics, logistics, oil, and gas, etc. In parallel,  and for all the generations (Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z and the coming Gen Alphas); It is also time to dedicate ourselves to become scientists in each of our careers and disciplines preparing our minds to make decisions for and within Industry 4.0. It is time to educate ourselves. It is time for all of us to become researchers, scientists in our own disciplines (technical sciences, human sciences, tech, management sciences, artistic disciplines, etc). For those who belong to Gen Z, it takes around 10 years of additional study after high school to become a Junior Scientist (with a Ph.D.). Real Scientists know the meaning of active learning for life. For Baby boomers and my Gen X group, we must become learners again. We must work in multidisciplinary teams doing research, in order to educate ourselves for the future. We probably will start to discover everything again. It is time to become scientists in our own disciplines again. It doesn´t matter if we are 47, or 70 or 10 years old.   This will give us the new logic and mental frames which will help us to take the best decisions before it is too late.bad times

Let me ask you again: Are we doing an awe business for and with Industry 4.0?

Thank you, this is all for today. See you in my next post. Blessings.

books reading

Inspiration Source References:

Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.


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