Encouraging people to live on purpose is how to revolutionize the world. Steve Glaveski, CEO of Collective Campus in Australia, joins host Justin Recla to discuss how to revolutionize the world through collective efforts. His book Employee to Entrepreneur: How To Earn Your Freedom and Do Work That Matters encourages those ready to take the leap to jump and trust themselves in the process. Steve has helped over 100 startups and through collective campus collectively raised over US$25m for those startups. Listen in as Steve shares some tips on how you can raise the frequency of the corporate culture and bring your business into the 21st century.
Welcome to Incorporating SuperPowers. I am your host, Justin Recla and today, I’m going to butcher your last name. Welcome our guest, Steve. Steve, how do you say your last name?
Glaveski, okay. Steve Glaveski is the CEO of Collective Campus. If you haven’t taken a look at their site folks, this is such a great concept of what Steve is doing. Today, we thought we would talk about how to revolutionize the world through collective efforts. This is something that I think is so, so important, that we’re shifting the way business gets done. Steve, thank you so much for joining us today.
Thanks so much for having me Justin and it’s an absolute pleasure.
Steve, tell us what are some of the problems that you’re seeing in your industry or the areas of the industry that you serve, just in general. What are some of the biggest issues that you’re seeing with your clients that you help right now?
Well, our clients tend to be large Fortune 500 companies with thousands upon thousands of employees. Many of these companies reach back to the 20th century when things moved at a much slower pace. Whether it was economic change, technological change, political change, you could reliably predict, to some degree, what the next five, ten years would look like. But now, thanks to Moore’s Law, the doubling of computer power every 18 months, that certainty is no longer there.
Now, large organizations are finding themselves operating in an environment of increasing ambiguity and uncertainty. What that means is they need to get a hell of a lot better at experimenting, moving quickly, and adapting to these changing circumstances. Whenever you find yourself in an environment of ambiguity, the best way to deal with that is to experiment quickly to figure out the end desire.
Collective Campus, at our core, we’re about unlocking the latent potential of people at such organizations to create impact for the world and to lead more fulfilling lives as a byproduct of that. I worked in the corporate world for big brands like EY and KPMG and investment banks for about 10 years. Ultimately, as someone who is quite entrepreneurial, it’s a very frustrating space to work because the nature of these organizations, the way they still build their systems and culture, it’s still a throwback to the 20th century.
So what we’re trying to do with Collective Campus, which operates at a number of different levels, is to help these companies move into the 21st century so that they can use the vast resources to create impact for the world, but also to empower the people to do more interesting work where they feel rewarded going to work and at the end of the day they can say well, I really contributed something today and they look forward to coming back the next day and making a difference of some kind.
I absolutely love that. You would think that with as long as the technology we have has existed that you would think that some of these larger companies would be ahead of the curve, but they’ve been doing business the same way for so long that they haven’t really evolved with the technology. Ironically from the stuff that we see, while the technology may be evolving, the people themselves may not be, right?
I think that what you’re doing is so beautiful. You’re helping bridge that gap and you’re moving, not just the companies in the 21st century, but you’re helping move their people into it. I think part of that is reconnecting the people of those businesses with their consumers, with their clients, and actually building relationships.
How much of what you do actually dives into the actual people aspect?
A big part of what we do in this space, it’s easy to default to running isolated initiatives to trick people into thinking that what they’re doing is moving the needle because as human beings, our brains have a tendency, and this from an evolutionary theory perspective, our brains have a tendency to optimize for the lowest hanging fruit. We think that an executive at a large company, and we’re struggling to move with the times. We might just default to running something like, oh let’s run a hackathon or let’s run a startup accelerator program, and we’ll be innovative. That’s just an isolated initiative. That’s not going to change anything at a fundamental level on an ongoing basis.
What we do when we start our engagements with clients is we look at the culture. We’ll go into an organization, we’ll look at the processes, the policies, the systems, the values, and we’ll interview people from top to bottom, from left to right to get an understanding for their behaviors, and what they actually value as people. Once we understand that, we can then add design, new processes, policies, systems, and so on that will actually get the kinds of behaviors that we want from people. There’s an old adage, I think it was Peter Drucker who said that “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and I totally agree with that. But at the same time, if your strategy is to change processes and policies, people are ultimately a product of their environment.
If in my business landscape, I have an idea, but I need to complete a 20 page business case, and that business case needs to go in front of a steering committee who meets maybe four times a year to review whether or not I get some funding, that’s obviously not a fast moving enterprise and that’s not a place where you can really apply the kind of techniques that startups are using nowadays to innovate. But, if we change that process to okay, you got an idea; the process is you get 100 dollars