I always knew that the concept of Multiversal, the search advisory firm that I recently set up, was a good one, and one whose time had come. But today, I ruefully saw for myself that the time had really come , and how well timed it is , given how narrowly people perceive one , outside the box they have put one in.
So there I was , at a business forum listening to an amazing speaker and bumped into an old consulting acquaintance. He was on a sabbatical himself and we had a few pleasant moments of catching up. ' Ah, so you’ve left Executive Search?' he asked. 'No', I averred with surprised amusement, 'I have my own company Multiversal Advisory now, with a rather unusual search process, and some very specific high-level CXO searches that we focus on.' 'Oh' he replies, 'but I thought that since you do so much of great work on city & social causes, so just assumed that you weren’t working.' He sees my eyebrows rise alarmingly, blinks a little at my fierce look and steps back. I was surprised he would assume that . My immediate mental rejoinder to that, was : first , whether he would ever say this to a man. Second, how delightfully blinkered & out of touch to assume that if you do one thing, you really can’t do anything else.
On a simplistic but related aside, are you then surprised that women have such a tough time in being accepted in the multiple roles that they matter of fact-ly don? Are you surprised that to be taken seriously in a business space, a singularity of identity is considered critical ? Does it surprise you that a binary positioning is pretty much gold standard in the tough corporate world?
But then I smiled. For two reasons- first the very search company that I set up was to address exactly such perceptions and limitations. My search firm Multiversal, as its name implies, tries very hard to look at the multiple universes that both companies and candidates occupy, and tries to tries to converge that into a more meaningful, impactful and cohesive Gestalt whole . And yes, it also looks at the impact we can make on the universe. It celebrates the multiple universes we belong to , not slots you into them.
People are not uni-dimensional , but they are encouraged to be so by management gurus who talk about razor speed, sharpening focus and converging minds. What is very strange, is that almost every candidate, talks to us about developmental needs, volunteering or social impact. They feel it, but they feel uncomfortable to either stretch or step into a new, uncharted space. So they reserve it for post retirement times, and the impact or social sector loses out on many years of their parallel contribution. Sometimes it’s mind space, not physical time spent, that can make the impact. This adds rather than takes away from business goals, process and targets. NO, it isn’t an 'either-or'. It’s an AND! However we often discover that far too late.
People are going to start asking for acceptance and internalization of their different hats - and they will enable wonderful things to emerge from that. And as a company, one will be asked - are you #MultiversalReady? There are always resonant echoes that the path one chose, what one has instinctively done, is the right thing. That it is the right direction to take, that it will bring in new mindsets, set the tempo, and heck, let me just say it - change the world.. Today I discovered that for myself, and I was happy to do so . The world is going to take some time to echo, with the multiple dimensions and the multiple universes we joyously occupy, and stake victories in.
Here’s to that new world, led by a collaborative , leveraged, impactful process , and to a Multiversality , where we can converge, change and conquer - one wonderful person at a time.
Are YOU #MultiversalReady?