Business Psychology At Unbound Festival: 3 Tips On How To Succeed

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It’s not often 5,000 start-ups, scale-ups, investors and industry leaders, gather to discuss the latest tech trends that are shaping our world. Unbound Festival London covers six pillars of innovation from the front lines of the tech industry:

immersive experience, smart cities, investment and scaling of start-ups, Tech For Good, AI and finance. Technology is the engine room of modern society and leaves an industry brimming with seasoned expertise and fresh young talent, on track to be worth over four trillion pounds. How to succeed then, in this competitive, lucrative, rapidly growing market, is down to not only innovative tech, but innovative mindsets, facilitating the tech.

Here are 3 tips from Unbound Festival on business psychology, to help you succeed in an industry that’s moving faster than us.

1.     Business Psychology

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Psychological traits considered crucial to the survival of a business today, are less focused on adventurous inventions and bold ideas and more focused on adaptability, re-invention, and the relentless execution of a bold idea. There’s a surprising amount of businesses still running on regulations and methods that are 10 years old or more.

Considering the rapidly evolving landscape where product updates, upgrades and brand transformations are regular, nothing lasts 10 years anymore, you’d be lucky if they even last five. So to keep up with the blistering pace that digital tools, designed to speed up communication and the sharing of information, have accelerated, companies must re-invent their cultural values and branding regularly.

This way, employees are kept engaged, old customers are kept coming back, recent customers interested, and new leads’ attracted.

2.     Productive Psychology: Critical Brain Vs. Experiential Brain

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Re-calibrating our decisions to choose what’s best for long-term critical interests over what’s best for short-term gain, is what Mark Adams, Chief of Innovation at Vice and Martin Adams, CEO of AI tech company Codec, call the continuous intrapersonal war between our critical and experiential self. The case in point, is through the ferocious acceleration of big tech companies and the reliant consumption of online stimulus, algorithms –laden with systems and data designed to understand us better than we understand ourselves– are in a dangerous position of control over the decisions we make. Most of these decisions are not in our best interest, they’re of the interest of any typical business model: money. ‘Psyops’ (psychological operations) is the military term for weapons-grade communication tactics, used in modern warfare where research is collected and used to influence the decisions of hostile groups. The problem is, that it’s been dipping its toes in public mainstream territory, and has been accused of exploiting average Joes’ online information to influence decisions, both on mass and individually, for financial business and political ends. 

We as humans have a unique balance of experiential processes: actions that are preconscious and mediated through experience, ‘feel’ and emotion; and critical processes: actions that are conscious, intentional, and mediated through consideration of future interests. Outlined at Unbound, were some practical (albeit radical) ways to take control over prioritising the critical self over the experiential, to ward off increasing effects of technological intelligence, looming in the midst of an increasingly data-driven world. 

Innovation is largely psychological, with the focus shifted away from external ventures like inventing and acquiring academic knowledge, and more towards the likes of self-awareness and radical changes in lifestyle, as a result of that self-awareness. In order to reach true innovation, according to brothers Mark and Martin Adams, some key stages need following:

1.    Firstly, identify your critical needs, which are the things that bring real value and meaning to your life. Critical needs are what make you want to get up in the morning or happy to work long days for because it’s in pursuit of a critical ambition personally or within family. Once you’ve identified this set of needs, you have a unique blueprint for your own success.

2.    Identify what triggers experiential urges, for example, what makes you feel good now such as postponing that creative project until tomorrow, launching that startup next year instead of this year, or buying more, eating more, smoking or drinking more at the times when more pressing matters need your attention.

3.    By restricting your environmental triggers accordingly, it will become easier to do what you critically need and harder to do what you instantly feel like over time. 

4.    Radical methods such as making irreversible decisions that contractually bind you to pursue your critical goals even if weeks or months later you don’t want to, were also explained. Many of the most pioneering people in history have harnessed radical approaches to getting what’s most valuable done, and generated remarkable success from it, which Mark stresses is where true innovation lies.

Innovation starts in the mind, after an individual accurately identifies their unique set of critical goals, radically changes their life’s set up to reach that goal, and diligently turns these goals into material outcomes*. Only then is a larger potential is uncovered, and with it, a deeper level of satisfaction and accomplishment on fulfilling it.

3.     Leadership Psychology

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Leadership is another word for good team management. And a mindset malleable enough to cater to different ways employees feel most empowered, relaxed and valued, is the measure of a good leader. The happier employees feel, the more enabled they’ll be to do their best work. Ways to achieve this include (but are not limited to): re-thinking how current working methods in your business contribute to productivity, implementing flexible and remote working environments, and looking at how different environments can maximise productivity.

Unbound Festival celebrates tech innovation across a wealth of industries and is crucial for its insight into the future of digital. The latest innovative trends in tech are not just products, services and inventions; they are mindsets, dispositions and diligent states of self-analysis. Before external success can come, internal innovation must inform and action it. And with the tech industry trailblazing the markets forming the foundations of our future society, it’s never been as crucial to adapt, fine-tune and innovate our ways of thinking. For more in-depth information on innovation and productivity, watch talks from Unbound Festival 2019 or the additional talk on extreme productivity By Vice Innovation Chief Mark Adams on Tedx.

For directional coaching and initial assessment of your business and mindsets, feel free to get in touch here

*The ‘relentless pursuit of an idea’ from 1. Business Psychology