Recently I started to take stock of my professional contacts. While skimming through the list, I naturally thought of who has made it, who consistently achieves good results and who has an interesting story to tell. Most importantly, whom would I put my hand on my heart and vouch for?
This has inspired me to put out a mini-series of candid interviews, as an excuse for a chat and an introduction to anyone who reads to some of the fantastic people I get to work with.
The first candidate, and often my testing ground for big ideas is Gordon Jenkins – Founding Director of Adaptive Innovation and The Visible Guy.
Amanda: Tell me about Adaptive Innovation (AI) what do you do?
Gordon: I help enable organisations and individuals exceed what they think is their full potential – in a very dynamic way. Instead of looking at a person or an organisation from the inside, I look from the outside with the belief that a client’s (or network) perception is often the reality. Or another way to look at it is are you an expert in a vacuum?
We know that solving the hardest problems and providing world-class guidance requires the very best people. That’s why we collaborate with the best in their field for the benefit of our clients. Our clients don’t expect us to do everything – but they do expect us to know who is the best for them.
Amanda: How did it all get started?
Gordon: It got started because what I realised in my 20 years of business, is that I love enabling solutions.
Often we get caught up in the business process; which needs to happen, but that is not where the solutions are.
I realised that there was a real gap in the marketplace where organisations are making decisions based on data, biased data, and that is not the best way,
Amanda: That’s interesting as a large part of AI, and what you do is customer and employee research. Do you rely on mainly quantitative or qualitative research?
Gordon: I create both a tactical and strategic advantage and don’t like to focus on the how or what up front. I use the CIA for inspiration, they often talk about ‘collective intelligence that matters’ To us this means that in any decision you take whether on behalf of an organisation or for your own personal development the data you are basing your decision on must be robust, unbiased, relevant and perspective.
Amanda: Recently you launched The Visible Guy, which is a cool looking website by the way. What is the Visible Guy?
Gordon: Thanks! The Visible Guy is really exciting and the international traction has been fantastic. Over the past 5-7 years I’ve found that people and organisations have taken as much interest in me, the person, as my business. Yes I’ve faced many obstacles (some life threatening) and still do but I’ve always believed in treading the path that is right for me. In doing this I’ve found that passion, accountability and vision are key drivers. Enabling an arena that embraces innovation, where people use their passion is a deep motivational tool and can deliver some amazing outcomes.
Everyone has a passion; you need to find what it is.
Amanda: So does The Visible Guy and AI work hand-in-hand?
Gordon: Absolutely. I tried to keep them separate. However, I listen to my network, tribe and mentors. The reason for their success is because it brings together both the needs of the organisation and the passion of the people.
At the end of the day it’s about being visible and how this is delivered.
Amanda: I can see how that would work. So what does the future hold for The Visible Guy?
Gordon: I’m really excited about the future. In a short period of time The Visible Guy has become an international key note speaker, business coach and personal mentor. A key theme behind the #bevisible mantra is networking with purpose. To me this is the gateway to thriving organisations, motivated people and exceeding what we thought was our full potential.
I made 2017 the year of action not planning. Whether its Adaptive Innovation or The Visible Guy, innovation never stops. Each year our heart beats 42,000,000 times, make every heart beat count.
There is a lot to be gained by us all having thriving businesses that we truly understand.
Gordon Jenkins is The Visible Guy and Managing Director of Adaptive Innovation. Gordon is chairperson of The Lungitude Foundation (www.lungitude.com.au). He contributes at least 10% of the revenue he receives to Lungitude.
By Amanda Lacey