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Mindset Is Everything: Bend. Break. Blend.

Image of Collaborative Space from Debra Pickfield

KADIMA village is a catalyst. Our purpose is to make Canada a leader in innovation. Our work is in transformative unlearning. We help private and public business sectors to transform what to do by first shifting how to think.

In KADIMA chat issue 6, I wrote: Perseverance is what an unorthodox, nonconformist, and independent-minded person has in abundance! In this Mindset Is Everything article I am elevating the conversation.

If I were to ask – in your mind, who has an abundance of perseverance? A few names that may pop up are – Sandra Oh, David Suzuki, Hayley Wikenhauser, Christopher Plummer. These Canadians are recognised and applauded for their perseverance and contributions to their profession, society, and Canada. Rightly so!

How often do we hear of the Canadians who are not household names?

Canadians in the trenches doing amazing work and persevering against all odds. In business they are entrepreneurs of start-ups. While others are advocates for social and human needs. No big corporate machine behind them. They do not have the ear of people with big cheque books either. In fact, these individuals are often said to be unreasonable people; troublemakers by the very industry or business sectors they want to help. Simply because they see the world through another kind of lens.

They are the ones who quietly identify a gap and figure out how to fix it. They lead with passion and have a ton of perseverance in tow, with one aim.

To bend, break, and blend

the gap that others do not see or choose to ignore because it is not convenient.

Debra Pickfield, possibly an unfamiliar name to you, is an entrepreneur who uncovered a gap and knowns how to fix it.

Debra’s dedication to help organisations, leaders, and their teams collaborate is forward thinking and most admirable. Her deep understanding and insights about how to create a collaborative space, where teams and individuals feel safe to take risks and be vulnerable in front of each other, comes from her own experience.

Debra’s passion for collaboration came to her while doing her MBA, when she realised how hard it was. You see, Debra was part of a group of 16 people working on a case study. Debra says she is ‘by no means a wallflower’ and yet she could not get her voice heard, not once, during the 2-hour exercise. She became so frustrated and angry that she checked-out. It was this experience that launched Debra’s journey to combine her work and educational experiences to embed collaboration, creativity, and innovation within organisations.

This month Debra celebrates 11-years leading not-for-profit and for-profit organisations and its teams on their journey to master effective collaboration and creative problem solving. She has a hands-on approach in the process and has witnessed the power of connection between individuals and the capacity within teams to explore opportunities and solve challenges.

She is on first name basis with creative thinkers and authors like Min Basadur, best known for his work in applied creativity. Debra is a supporter of Min’s Simplexity Thinking System for improving workplace creativity.

In this recent article by Roger Martin, former Dean of Rotman School of Management and author, Martin talks about the same challenge and opportunity Debra identified over a decade ago. The work Debra has pioneered and committed herself to do, is now being talked about by someone with a name that is well-known in the business world.

A personal and professional observation. There is a difference between someone with a household name and heavy lifters in the trenches. It is this. The trench diggers leverage their passion and work as co-creators, often sharing their findings and insights with others on a similar journey. The more people know the better the outcomes for everyone. While some household names present themselves as saviours and take credit for other people's work.

Which would you rather have in the trenches with you, someone with perseverance or a household name??

Let us not waste this pandemic. Let us move from managing the probable to leading the possible. Let us build a world of tomorrow today. You in??

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