State of The Nation

State of The Nation

Friday September 27th, 2019

Written by: Christopher DiCarlo
Featured image by: Lily Lê
Presented by: Kal Sayid

In this State of the Nation address, I consider several key factors which lie at the very heart of what it means to be a member of the Pixel Dream Team.

Organizational Clarity

To set the stage, so to speak, we must first consider the definition, place, and importance of organizational clarity.

When we can see more clearly what our current position is in relation to where we’ve been, how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go, we are better enabled to understand how each of us fits with the overall mission of the company, and how the company can fit and facilitate each individual’s personal goals and ambitions.

It is through the exercise of creating clarity within our organization that we can have honest discussions, lively debates, inoculate ourselves from artificial harmony, have agency over our lives, and take necessary action.

Organizational clarity allows a company to delegate more effectively and empower its employees with a true sense of confidence.
– Patrick Lencioni

Culture eats Strategy for Breakfast

If we define culture as the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups; and strategy is defined as how we will achieve our goals through careful management and decision-making; then it logically follows that to create a unique differentiation in the market requires a gifted and unique working culture.

From this inference, it further follows that at Pixel Dreams, Culture is our Number 1 strategy.

But What Makes PD Culture?

At Pixel Dreams, teamwork and strong values define the culture. Teamwork is the ultimate competitive advantage. And teamwork is learned by steering clear of the five dysfunctions of a team [Lencioni] which include but are not limited to:

  1. Absence of Trust. This involves the avoidance or fear of being vulnerable in front of colleagues, co-workers, etc.
  2. Fear of Conflict. Avoiding ideological differences will inevitably block productivity among staff.
  3. Lack of Commitment. Without clarity, it becomes increasingly difficult for staff to ‘buy-in’ to decisions and stick to them.
  4. Avoidance of Accountability. By avoiding interpersonal discomfort, we generate ‘walking on eggshells’ environment by not holding each other accountable.
  5. Inattention to Results. If we focus too much on individual, rather than collective results, we limit the effectiveness of a productive outcome.

At Pixel Dreams, we have established Eight (8) Core Values that provide staff with purpose-driven focus and clarity.They are ordered in a priority sequence in which each value serves as a foundation to the one that follows in a complimentary fashion. Each value is considered to be a choice with a ‘gut-check’ reflection for clarity:

  1. Be Grateful: I choose to witness the wondrous, magnificence of life. I am grateful for all of life’s blessings, those I earned and those I did not.

    Gut-check questions: Do I measure the Gap rather than the Gain? Am I dwelling on information that doesn’t matter? Do I neglect the bigger picture? Do I understand that life is short and precious, and death looms around the corner?

  2. Take Responsibility: I choose to take extreme ownership of my life, my circumstances, and those in my care. I take responsibility for the weather.

    Gut-check questions: Do I blame the world if life isn’t working out like I’d planned? Do I see myself as a victim? Do I allow other people and things to negatively influence my thoughts and emotions? Most importantly, do I have control over my thoughts?

  3. Clean Toilets: I choose to be humble and gritty, I am willing to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. The mission comes first; social status is useless.

    Gut-check questions: Do I believe that certain tasks, or chores are beneath me? Does my Ego feel pride in being better than others? Do I shy away from doing the dirty-work?

  4. Study Hard: I choose to study with intent. I am a lifelong learner. Learning is not a passive accidental occurrence, but a long-term strategy fused with deliberate action.

    Gut-check questions: Do I place leisure and fun ahead of study and growth? Will my life suffer mediocrity from my lack of studying? Is my level of thinking stagnant or growing too slow?

  5. Be Stronger: I choose to strive to be stronger physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. I choose to create feelings, thoughts, and decisions that make me stronger everyday.

    Gut-check questions: Do I honour thoughts and feelings that weaken me? Are my beliefs on a particular matter making me weaker? Do I neglect my PSME health?

  6. Be Better: I choose to think and act in ways destined to make me better. I strive for excellence in my profession, career, and personal life.

    Gut-check questions: Do I neglect necessary action to improve in my field ? Do I fall short of the mark? Did I fail to be better than yesterday? Will I fail to be better tomorrow?

  7. Have Fun: I choose to, have a great time, and have fun. I choose to smile and laugh often. My presence positively influences the environment around me.

    Gut-check questions: Do I bring a negative energy to my environment? Do I take things too seriously? Are people happier when I am not around? Do I suck the spirit of joy out of a room?

  8. Ship Value: I choose to be of value, and deliver value to my family, team, clients, and community. I’m focused on helping others succeed.

    Gut-check questions: Is the work I’m doing intended for me and my Ego, or to bring value to others? Do my efforts deliver perceived value rather than true value?

Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP):

A non-hairy but audaciously large and aspirational goal which causes significant transformation to an industry, community, or to the planet as well as within the organization itself. The aspirational element ignites passion and engages hearts and minds to work together in realizing their goal. The MTP is the soul of Pixel Dreams. It is our driving force, our DNA, influencing how we think and move. Without it, we risk becoming just another company, just another ‘ping-pong agency’.

MTP: Why bother?

 

It’s good for business

The aspirational quality of an MTP pushes teams to prioritize big thinking, rapid growth strategies, and organizational agility—and these behaviors all have substantial payoffs in the long term.

As an MTP harnesses passion within an organization, it also galvanizes a community to form outside the company that shares the purpose. This sparks an incredible secondary impact by helping organizations attract and retain top qualified talent who want to find mission-driven work and remain motivated by the cause.

It’s good for people and the planet

Consider major companies such as Google, Amazon, Tesla, Ted, X Prize Foundation, et al, and how their MTPs have impacted the world as we now experience it.
Because Pixel Dreams has altruistic aspirations, it aligns itself with those whose value systems cohere not only with our Eight (8) Core Values, but with our Mission: To Raise Human Intelligence and Consciousness.

It’s good for you

Because you will invest (or spend) most of your life in your career, your career will make up a lot of your legacy. When you work in an organization with a purpose, it will have a significant effect on who you are, how you think, and how you feel.

At Pixel Dreams, our MTP is to raise human intelligence and consciousness. And why? Because there are serious problems in the world that need to be solved which, as Einstein maintained, cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created them. Some of the problems involve issues such as: health and addiction,
poverty, environmental concerns, cruelty, poverty and disease, social and psychological issues, political intolerance, racial intolerance, modern slavery, war, economic instability, automation and AI.

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