Why we need Explorers and Exploration… and why in Corporate.

The freedom to learn, explore and create new outcomes

What is it that makes one person successful and another not ? What is it that makes one team, one organisation successful and others not ? What is it that they do that others do not ?

Just like individuals, corporates get stuck in comfort zones. It works, so why fix it ? Until the moment when it no longer works, when the world has changed to the point where what you always did no longer brings the satisfaction and happiness and success that it did. This is the point where we need to embrace exploration so that we can open up new comfort zones.

There is just one problem, we have a very narrow definition of what exploration is and isn’t.

It is being out there, doing impossible things, exploring oceans, climbing mountains. It belongs to a small, exclusive set of people, not us. It definitely isn’t a word that is associated with business and corporates.

Which is odd, because the thing that explorers do is venture into the unknown and they push limits. Which is also the thing that corporates need to be able to do – perhaps not to the extreme that individuals do, but without the ability to expand past comfort zones, corporates sooner or later, cease to exist – think Blackberry, Nokia, Kodak.

Exploration is the ability to extend comfort zones, to build up and out from where you are. It is a skill that can be learnt. I know this, because I was not born an explorer, it is something I chose because it was the skill I needed to get deeper and the Guinness World Record or the Deepest dive by a Woman on Scuba.

Skills are habits and habits can be learnt.

What is an Explorer ?

The art of opening up new Comfort Zones

Exploration is the art of opening up new comfort zones. It is about expansion, making the previously possible common and every day and accessible to everyone.

When Sir Edmund Hillary summited Everest for the first time it was an impossible feat –  these days there are queues of people summiting Everest. It has gone from unpredictable and unknown, to where the only unknown is the person’s stamina and grit.

An explorer is a master of the unknown.

They are masters at turning the unknown into the known, converting the impossible into the every day.

They are creators – able to make things happen.

They are way finders, people who can draw lines from here to there. Some can find ways to take not only themselves, but others to ‘there’.

Explorers are bigger than life… because they create bigger lives because they ask the question, what if ? They are not content with what is, they are always curious about what else is possible and that curiosity drives them out of their comfort zones.

Without exploration, society goes stale and dies. In the corporate world explorers show up as entrepreneurs. Every now and then one or two will pop up and become names, Elon Musk being a good example.