Why true ‘alignment’ is critical to fundraising, operational success, thinking differently and driving impossible business outcomes
In 2013, I officially walked away from an 8-year career at Microsoft in the Servers and Tools Division to return to my roots as a small startup entrepreneur, where I cut my teeth in business and organizational management. While the process felt familiar in many ways, there was one radical difference. I was joining as the Executive Director of the Resonance Project Foundation – a non-profit whose mission objective was to change humanity’s very understanding of physics, science and our everyday reality.
While the story of that organization, what it has become, and the significance of its contribution to our understanding of reality and the world around us is not the subject of this article, it sets the framework for a core principal that was singularly relevant to both the work itself and to the business of that work as an organization – the business of thinking differently.
So how do we define thinking differently and what is its relevance to business? In short, it is the principal of separating ourselves from the “accepted” reality to provide the space for something new to emerge. While this can sound like a trope, I assure you when this principal is applied as conscious practice, and a decision is required, the results speak for themselves.
It is such a monumental principal to the organization that we devoted an entire module to it in the Resonance Academy Delegate Program – M2: Thinking Differently. Here is a brief excerpt from the introduction:
“When it comes to shifting our worldview, what is common to all of these pursuits is a willingness to allow one’s thoughts and feelings to go beyond what is the accepted norm and entertain an inquiry that steps outside the constraints of our cultural, and even our personal perspective on the nature of reality. At times this means even a willingness to transcend ideas that are deemed to be absolute truth. Needless to say, this can be a highly destabilizing and challenging experience for both those with the courage to think differently and those around them who may not yet understand or agree with the new ideas that are emerging.”
While the focus of the module is worldview in relation to scientific research, the principal is equally valid and equally challenging in business. Let’s examine a common business issue and some key takeaways in respect to the Thinking Differently principal.
Partnerships and Raising Capital
While many might consider these to be separate issues, they are in fact the same. Non-profit donations, volunteer positions, joint venture partnerships, vendor engagement, consultants, employees, investment capital, even marriage are all essentially the same thing – an energetic exchange. One party exchanges some form of energy (money, time, love, etc.) with another, and both parties have an expectation of what they must provide in return. The key to success in all of these situations is aligning the expectations of both parties – this where the Thinking Different principal can be most effectively applied.
There is an entire belief system abounding what can and cannot be done from both the investor side and the inventor/startup side and all of them are meaningless. “Please take a deep breath and pause while institutional investors, money managers, CPA’s, accountant’s, wealth advisors Angel Funds, startup entrepreneurs, unicorn COO’s and inventors everywhere experience significant disbelief.” Great now that’s over – so what do I mean? In short, I mean you CAN. You can throw away the rules and create any kind of agreement in which you’d like to exchange energy as long as you have clearly established alignment on expectations. The only way you can do this, however, is to have two parties who are willing to think differently, commit to the alignment you have established and not allow those who are not in alignment to run it off the rails. This is the lawyer who is paid by the hour to “protect” your best interest, the accountant that only sees benefit in the form of a plus symbol on your side of the ledger, and the partner or trusted advisor who is run by F.E.A.R – False Evidence Appearing Real. The only way to win here is to keep the alignment between you and the decision maker on the other side, and for both parties to commit to do whatever it takes, including ignoring the advice of those other folks no matter what.
Thinking Differently is the key to allowing for “impossible” outcomes. I have seen the effects of this firsthand, moving an entire organization halfway across the world on the basis of a handshake and papering a multi-million-dollar deal that gave both parties everything they wanted in less than 90 days. It is possible – just Think Differently!
As a person who has always been attracted to different thinking, Chris has spent a lifetime exploring unconventional paths both personally and professionally. This desire to both explore and model thinking differently has inevitably led him to a leadership position across all these explorations. This led him to his position as Executive Director of the 501c3 nonprofit Resonance Science Foundation (now a Director of the Board) and subsequently to co-create the evolution of that organization into the related for-profit entities Torus Tech LLC and Ark Crystal LLC, where he now serves as COO and CEO respectively. All three of these organizations are rooted in thinking differently across physics, science, organizational structures, conscious investment and people. These three incredible teams are making a significant contribution to shifting the paradigm of science, technology, health/wellness and thinking differently.