Former Senior Director of Trends and Strategy at Philips Design. I met Josephine at a Design Thinking Conference and fell in love with her. She has an enormous passion to change our thinking and radiates energy when she stands in front of a group. Preaching that we have to move beyond consumption, using the advantages of the network era to radically change our organizations from pyramids to pancakes.  She’s not giving many lectures anymore due to personal circumstances, but it’s worth listening to her.

What she says is that as we journey forward towards a new way of perceiving, of being and of acting in the world, there is a lot of turbulence. New people, new technology, new relationships, new social challenges, new patterns of demand and supply — these and more sometimes threaten to overcome us but there is a way forward. Some of the things we need to address:

  • The need for new organizational cultures and behaviour, and a new way of thinking that is comfortable with letting things happen than about controlling exactly what happens.
  • Fundamental in this transition period from Pyramid to Pancake are the roles of leadership and of leaders. Just as new stories can stimulate us to change so can leaders.
  • Decentralising and distributing Innovation, Strategy and Design in order to release the energy and agility needed to create and invent in the pancake world, both in terms of transformational and incremental innovation.

When we stop controlling complexity through a well-meaning overdose of management and administration and when we start distributing complexity through the system, then we are also distributing power and responsibility, which ultimately is about democratizing our future.