So, Who are you?

Identity Crisis is the greatest crisis and the public enemy number one is Ignorance.

Identity Crisis. Do you know what is worse than death? It is a life lived outside purpose and while there is no greater failure than succeeding at the wrong things, the subject of success remains an avid pursuit in the heart of most individuals as well as organisations and nations. I have written about the relentless pursuit for more and how human beings irrespective of their background, affiliations or convictions desire to be productive (do more with less and get more from less). This impetus for DOING and GETTING will never cease and as long as time and space remain, humankind will not cease from the pursuit of more but, does the pursuit of purpose guarantee the achievement of more? Can one achieve meaning by simply being purposeful?

We are at war and the irony is that the enemy is unassuming. Identity Crisis is the greatest crisis and the public enemy number one is still Ignorance.

It is my humble conclusion that the pursuit of purpose is not a silver bullet for achieving meaning or self actualization and the reason for this is not unconnected with the state of the world: We live in the most advanced century powered by deep knowledge of Science and Technology yet the woes that betide humanity are ever present; extreme poverty and hunger remain the to challenges confronting humanity. While the quality of life has significantly improved over the last century, humanity is is deep throes of stubborn problems that threaten to reduce us to mere specimen of creation. More than ever before, we have purposeful organisations that operate by higher principles of conscious capitalism but the fundamentals are largely out of whack. We are at war and the irony is that the enemy is unassuming. Identity Crisis is the greatest crisis and the public enemy number one is still Ignorance.

Individuals, organisations and nations are waking up to the power of purpose.

The 6th Dimension. The materials on the subject of purpose are a dime and a dozen and the trends in the last two decades are particularly telling; organisations are beginning to realise that purpose trumps strategy and profit. In the last 10 years, many global organisations have taken up Sustainability as a corporate objective and while many still pay lip service to doing good, many organisations are beginning to connect the dots that doing good has a direct impact on many of the levers of competitiveness including attracting ad retaining top talents, these organisations are beginning to take up sustainability (doing good). While this may seem isolated, the interesting thing is that individuals and nations are equally unrelenting in the pursuit of the ideals of good life; the wave of unrest that swept through Middle East in what is now referred to as the “Arab Spring” is an evidence of a world desiring more. I dare opine that individuals, organisations and nations are waking up to the power of purpose and this pursuit will not wane. It is expedient to establish that the shift to purpose actually follows a logical trend.

The 6th dimension is Identity (WHO) and it is by far the deepest and least explored paradigm and the reason for this is not unconnected to the nebulous nature of this paradigm

Purpose (WHY) is one of six paradigms that shape human existence. There was an era when many organisations obsessed about the Strategy Paradigm; this is evidenced by the breakthrough thinking of many thought leaders who argued that organisations and nations needed to be more deliberate about the choices they made in creating competitive advantages and HOW to play to win. The strategy paradigm itself has roots in the Vocation / Profession Paradigm which saw many individuals organisations obsess with the WHAT; making things (products, services); this era goes far into the agrarian era, extends into the industrial era and is very much relevant even in today’s knowledge economy. Time (WHEN) and Space (WHERE) are two other paradigms that shape our existence as human beings and they manifest as constants in the scheme of things. The 6th dimension is Identity (WHO) and it is by far the deepest and least explored paradigm and the reason for this is not unconnected to the nebulous nature of this paradigm. Just to make this come alive, consider the answer people give when they are asked “Who are you?”; the flavor of responses I have given or heard ranges from place to place but often there is a mesh of all sorts. The honest truth is that this question is not as easy as it seems.

This paradigm (Identity) demands one to look beyond what can be seen, touched, tasted, heard or perceived. Identity is the ultimate paradigm that reveals the mystery behind the vast panorama of our life and universe.

Many people I have met struggle to articulate their reason for being (WHY) and while this ought not to be, the fact is that it is not exactly straight forward. Organisations and nations also have to deal with the knotty question of purpose and it is not any easier for them either. Yet, in Time (WHEN) and Space (WHERE), the question of Identity (WHO) is more knotty than purpose (WHY) and certainly much more nebulous than Strategy (HOW) and Vocation (WHAT). It is no wonder that humanity is in crisis; it is largely impossible for mankind to attain meaning outside the understanding of who we are. It is a deeply humbling paradigm that challenges the very origin of mankind. This paradigm (Identity) demands one to look beyond what can be seen, touched, tasted, heard or perceived. Identity is the ultimate paradigm that reveals the mystery behind the vast panorama of our life and universe. It demands an unwavering faith in the invisible. It defies logic and does not answer to human science. The question of who we are is by far the greatest question there is and it is the ultimate pursuit of all.

So, who are you?

Femi Oni

Femi’s overarching purpose is to inspire brands (individuals, organisations and nations) to unlock potentials to achieve sustainable growth and impact. His mission is to mentor 1000 brands in Africa and beyond by 2025.

Specialties and Interests: Business Model Design & Innovation, Visioning, Strategy Design & Execution, Project Management, Change Management, Strategic Branding, Operations Excellence, Process Modelling, Product Management, Productivity Management, Entrepreneurial Leadership (Startups), , Social Evangelism, Education, Sustainability, Cybernetics, Risk & Compliance.

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