A World of Possibilities
is waiting for you and your organization
...but not patiently!Get Started Embrace the impossible
CEOs: Do You Focus on Problems or Possibilities?
Only Possibility Thinking Transforms Lives
and Leaves a Legacy
As a leader, you solve problems. But if that’s all you do, at best all you get for the effort is caught up. For your work to have a lasting impact, you must focus on possibilities. That way, you are creating the future rather than mending the past. Through possibility thinking, you see energizing options before your competitors do. You blaze a trail by turning transformative new ideas into profitable realities.
Breakthrough Opportunities Ahead
The 2018 Bloomberg Innovation Index states that, for the first time, the USA is no longer among the top 10 innovative countries. Robert Atkinson, CEO of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, commented, “I see no evidence that this trend will not continue.”
But that bleak prediction isn’t cast in stone. With an understanding of the dynamics of possibility thinking, you can envision bold "what-ifs" and lead your organization to bring them to fruition. Instead of idly wondering what a Bezos, Musk, Jobs or Gates has or had that you don’t, you and your team jumpstart and implement innovations that significantly change the way we all live.
Where Possibilities Come From
Game-changing ideas are not hard to come by. They’re in the questions of children, like the daughter of Polaroid founder Edwin Land, who asked, “Daddy, why can’t we see the picture now?” They’re in daydreams or night dreams, in our musings in the shower or while running. Someone once asked Johann Sebastian Bach how he got so many musical ideas. He replied, “It’s all I can do not to step on them in the morning when I get out of bed.”
By adulthood, most of us have learned to squelch wild questions and audacious thinking — anything that seems unrealistic. Yet that is a habit we can all unlearn. We can once again tap into a world of possibilities as easily as we breathe.
Consider this: As early as 400 BC, Chinese children played with a toy that spun through the air like a helicopter. In the 1400s, Leonardo da Vinci drew detailed sketches showing how a helicopter would work. Four hundred years later, French inventor Paul Cornu actually built one.
Likewise, the innovation that will disrupt your industry 50 years from now already exists, if only as a thought. What’s needed is to take seriously a hope or a dream and bring it into being with courage, wisdom and determination. You can lead that charge. You can spearhead “the next big thing.”
Aligning the Organization is Essential
Without total commitment from senior leaders,
compelling initiatives fail.
In my many years of working with top corporations, I’ve learned two crucial truths:
- Anyone, at any level of an organization, is capable of productive possibility thinking.
- Implementation succeeds only when the organization as a whole nurtures, examines and develops promising ideas rather than squelches them.
For example, I once worked with the sales division of a large insurance company, helping them set their sales strategy for the future. They chose a 3.5 percent growth rate as their target because that was the general expectation for the industry. I asked why it couldn’t be 3.7 or 5.3 or even 10 percent. Sarcastically, one of the guys yelled out that they should go for a billion dollars in sales. People in the room laughed.
The next day, that same guy came back to the group because something had awakened in him. He went over, almost day by day, what would need to happen for them to hit the billion-dollar mark.
Suddenly the absurd became totally possible.
With that change in mindset, and with new energy, the sales team went at it, supported by the SVP of Sales. Business began to fall out of the sky. Smaller firms offered to be acquired. It was all mind-blowing, and the SVP reminded the team that miracles were happening because that billion-dollar incident changed their thinking. Unfortunately, however, other parts of the insurance company, like IT and Underwriting, did not change their mindset at all. The company’s seemingly unstoppable breakthrough broke down when the firehose of sales ran into the garden hose of other departments. Leaders had failed to align the whole organization for runaway growth.
If you Google “possibility thinking” you’ll get 3,770,000 results. You'd think we'd have solved most of the world's problems, wouldn't you? Here’s why we haven't. Dr. Mina Bissell, a brilliant biologist, discovered that a cell's function and biology depend on its surroundings. Since we’re made up of cells, the same is true for how we perform. The secret to seeing and acting on game-changing possibilities depends on our surroundings. Our entire working environment needs to have a "possibility vibe" to it in order to sustain a possibility mindset. Sadly, most organizations don't have it. Let’s work together to ensure a total possibility culture in your organization.
So where do you stand when it comes to the pursuit of possibilities? Do you prefer to play it safe, or would you rather go way, way above and beyond the realities of today? If you wish to ignite far-reaching goals that challenge humdrum habits and change human life for the better, Let’s talk.
Let’s have a conversation about the possibilities you see for your organization, particularly those you’ve never explicitly expressed. Let’s also talk about the readiness of your whole organization for a new way of thinking.
The problem we ran into with that insurance company? I vowed to never let that happen again. You don’t want that either, I’m sure. That’s why this initial conversation is so critical to a decision about us working together.
Although I find it hard to understand, many organizations are determined to maintain the status quo, waiting until an innovation becomes established before they’ll even consider it. I don’t have the patience for that sort of inconsequential change, and I don’t think the world does, either.
My interest lies with organizations that have the energy, hunger and commitment to lead their sector, to discover and act on their highest possibilities, thereby making themselves unassailable. If that’s your team, I’d be pleased and honored to hear from you.
What to Expect
My role is as a Possibility Coach. That involves teaching, facilitating, encouraging, challenging and at times provoking individuals and teams to see and reach just one possibility higher.
Exactly how you go about becoming a possibility-focused organization will be unique to you. Everyone needs to have ownership in the process. That means you and the teams who work with you have to develop the process of possibility thinking from the get-go, not have some pre-packaged cookie-cutter program imposed on the organization. To do otherwise is to keep people imprisoned in that metaphorical "box" we all want to escape.
Further down in this website are articles that explain the principles behind the concept of possibility thinking; there’s even a little physics thrown in. Some of this will challenge your thinking and, frankly, if that doesn’t happen I will have failed you. If people don’t think differently, they won’t perform differently. It’s that simple.
About Ian Percy
An organizational psychologist by formal education, Ian is widely regarded as a possibility expert. His clients and colleagues frequently refer to and access his uncanny ability to see game-changing possibilities others don’t see and turn them into profitable new realities.
Ian's been an entrepreneur since undergraduate days. Initially he focused his organizational transformation skills on the healthcare sector resulting in a sterling reputation across his native Canada. Over time, his work expanded into a wide variety of industries globally including technology companies, government ministries, professional services, education, manufacturing, finance and insurance, agriculture and retail operations. Major companies such as KPMG, Royal Bank of Canada and UNIFI retained his services for multiple years. Year after year he was able to expand their thinking to see the opportunities all around them.
Not only is he able to unify people and focus them on their highest possibilities, he is a gifted corporate speaker having presented to audiences around the world. This rare ability led to the honor of being inducted into both the USA and Canadian Speaker Halls of Fame. Successful Meetings magazine declared him “One of the top 21 speakers for the 21st century.”
Ian admits to having low tolerance for inconsequential incremental change. "There are such enormous possibilities available to all of us," he insists, "why settle for less?" As one colleague put it, "Ian is a possibility magnet!"
He's also written seven books and contributes frequently to various professional blogs and newsletters.
Ian and his wife Georgia live in Scottsdale, Arizona and have dual citizenship.
Examples of Possibility Thinking
This page is meant to show you that I don’t merely talk about discovering possibilities, I’m actually doing it. To various depths, I’m connected to the examples listed below with the goal of helping them become significantly disruptive in their market sector.
I won't mind at all if you see some as nonsense or just flat out impossible. That will confirm that boundaries are being challenged. Truth is if we don’t arouse questions and doubts, we’re not reaching high enough! There's nothing worse than having attempts at innovation produce a yawn!
Much of my attention has gone to understanding the role of frequencies, energy and vibration. Since everything is in vibration, the possibilities are endless. Here are some of the results so far.
- Changing the resonance of crop irrigation water resulting in huge increases in yield and quality while reducing water and toxic chemical use.
- Concrete was made 12 to 15% stronger just by changing the resonance of the water; no additives involved at all.
- Made water much more hydrating for pets and livestock, especially beneficial for commercial operations.
- Used frequencies to make significant improvement to battery performance while keeping it about 60% cooler.
- Conditioning electrical systems in buildings resulting in reduced energy and maintenance cost and a much healthier environment.
- Made cheap wine and spirits taste like the good stuff. Frequencies also accelerate the natural barrel aging process.
- Enhanced hydration capability of drinking water by about 30% to solve the huge dehydration problem especially among elderly.
There are brilliant people who've seen possibilities in global water production, plant-based medicinals for a wide range health problems, how to restore contaminated land around the world, a new way to insulate our buildings and a semiconductor that will revolutionize computing architecture.
Look, the list is endless. People everywhere are embracing what others see as “impossible” and are changing our world and how we live in it. If you look for it, you’ll find the concept of "possibilities" becoming the meme for many companies. Toyota (Start your impossible), U.S. Bank (Power of Possible), Samsung (Do what you can't!), the American Petroleum Institute (Power Past Impossible) and AARP (Real Possibilities) are just a few of the current examples.
Admittedly, some of these tag lines may come from marketing departments rather than from reality, but they are an important signal that should not be ignored. The World of Possibilities is the next global battleground. If your organization wants to win or even hold a position there, possibility thinking is required by the whole team. As former Apple CEO John Sculley noted: "The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious."
The question here is when, where and how will your organization see and embrace your impossibles and turn them into vital, profitable and game-changing new realities? If you believe your organization is ready to do so, call me, and let’s have that first conversation. Ian@IanPercy.com or 480-502-3898.