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Organisations globally are experiencing frequent jolts out of complacency. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow.

So how can you keep reinventing yourself and remaining ahead of the game?

Leading through these changing times can feel overwhelming and confronting.

Yet at the same time, loaded with possibility and excitement.

As Dr Brené Brown reminds us, our perspective is soldered to our head!

The way we see the world is powerfully influenced by our life experience to date, our culture, where we grew up, our educational pathway, our relationships. And when someone shares their perspective with us, we have to believe it as their truth, even when it’s wildly different from the way we see things.

At the heart of the idea of Perspective Swaps is the recognition that there is always more than one way to view a situation, and many brains are better than one!

One of the big problems I see in leadership is that the further up the ladder you go, the less you hear about what’s really going on, and the greater the temptation for you to believe that your perspective is THE perspective… and everyone else’s is a bit off!

Which is why I’m inviting you to strongly consider starting a Perspective Swapping process in your organisation. Switch up the roles for a day every now and then, perhaps arranging the following switcheroos!

  • Someone in HR spends a week working in Sales
  • Someone in Operations spends a week working in HR
  • The CEO spends a day working as a customer service representative
  • The CFO spends a day working in Marketing

Perspective Swaps can be applied vertically, up and down your organisational chart to give leaders an employee perspective, or vice versa.

Imagine having one employee nominated as a simulated ‘CEO’ for the day, with a named budget and tasked to make one decision to improve the workplace culture.

Leaders willing to listen to what emerges can lead to swift and meaningful changes being implemented.

At Vincit, a Finnish IT services company, one employee is selected per month to be CEO for a day. One change implemented following this was starting new coworker lunches to foster connection amongst employees.

Perspective Swaps can also be applied vertically, especially helpful when divisions/business units are competing and pockets of toxicity developing. How about the heads of the two teams who are not collaborating swap places for a week? Odds are that the teams will start collaborating!

At this point in our corporate history, with cyber security a major risk, organisations need to make sure that cross-functional collaboration between Legal, IT and Finance is thriving. 

In neuroscience terms, the benefit of Perspective Swaps is that they activate ‘System 2’ thinking, a slower and more deliberate way of thinking, which can unlock mental flexibility, creative thinking that’s needed to adapt to change.

To stay ahead of the game.


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