Chief Dream Officers — Is Your Company Dream Deprived?

You know what it’s like, you take a long haul flight, you are unable to sleep and as a result get quite irritated. If you are travelling for business, that night you wake at 3 or 4 a.m. and a cycle of poor sleep begins for the duration of your trip.

Poor sleep cycles can equally be self inflicted. You know when you decide to go for it and watch just one more episode on Netflix, then another (sometimes more) and then you get into that cycle for a whole week or more until the entire season is watched.

Knowing how hard it is to operate in that state, I can only imagine what this must be like for an insomniac, someone who is totally sleep deprived.

One of the often overlooked elements of sleep deprivation is dream deprivation. This is when we don’t get quality enough sleep to reach REM sleep, when dreams occur. This sleep occurs at the latter end of your sleep. Being dream deprived can lead to many serious disorders including depression.

One of the things I loved about being a child is that we all dared to dream. I remember wanting to be Superman when I was a kid. My 3 year old wants to be a kitten at present and sees no blocker to this dream. I dislike very few things in the world, but one which I dislike intensely is when someone intentionally or othewise dilutes or dampens someone else’s dream or even their right to dream.

Growing up when I decided I wanted to play rugby for my country so many people rained on my dream parade. They discourage you, maybe through wanting to save you heartache because they don’t see the possibility, maybe it is so you don’t achieve and show them up, but they disocurage rather than encourage you.

Not many people can see the dream you have in your head. This makes it all the more satisfying when you eventually achieve it.

Dreamless Organisations

This all got me thinking that so few companies have a meaningful purpose, a vision, a mission or a “dream” for what the company will achieve or become.

We often only see such dreams being articulated by entrepreneurs or celebrated visionary leaders like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Their idea was simple. Build a company they believe in. Find employees who believe in the purpose of the company. Create consistency in the consumer touch-points. The problem with most older organisations/corporations is that they often lose their way. They lack or were not exposed to the passion of the original founder(s).

This happens most companies, this is what Jeff Bezos called entering Day 2.

“Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death.” — Jeff Bezos

Companies need a very compelling dream that everyone buys in to. Bezos communicates this very well in his recent letter to shareholders, but also to the staff. He says that Amazon needs to remain in Day 1.

“Staying in Day 1 requires you to experiment patiently, accept failures, plant seeds, protect saplings, and double down when you see customer delight. A customer-obsessed culture best creates the conditions where all of that can happen.” — Jeff Bezos

Amazon clearly has a dream and when you see success after success and a rising share price, it is a great dream.

Chief Dream Officers

We hear a lot about storytelling lately. Storytelling is a vital skill in many roles, sales, marketing (meaning) and most importantly leadership. People are gravitating more and more towards companies and organisations who have a vision, who a dream. To buy into the dream they need to understand it. To understand the dream, it must be clearly articulated. Often leaders see something that no one else does.

The Chief Dream Officer has a role to see what isn’t already there, imagine it, imagine it done and create a roadmap to get there. Most importantly, she has an immense responsibility to tell a compelling story of where the company is going and why it is going there. Going (soon to be gone) are the days of leadership as a stewardship of a role of keeping the ship steady as the profits roll in.

We are in a world of constant disruption of constant evolution. In that world having a compelling dream is paramount. We all need something to strive for, we need to work for a why and not a what.

We talk to the pioneer in the development of integrative medicine approaches to sleep and dreams Dr Rubin Naiman PhD. Dr Naiman works with everybody from Fortune 500 CEOs to world-class athletes.

He is the author of the fantastic book Hush: A Book of Bedtime Contemplations and runs sleep and yoga retreats all over the globe. Find out more on

On the show, we talk about the perils of not only sleep deprivation, but dream deprivation. We talk about creativity, sleep aids, REM, dreams, dream eyes and much more.

We talk to John Murphy, Co-CEO of 8 West Consulting, an award-winning, full service, enterprise software development company with a 20 year history of innovation and on-time delivery. We talk platforms, security, nano robotics, the dark web and the “Irish” no. We talk about the team’s side project in Health Tech, IoT and a platform for AR with a CPR app, which triggers drones when needed.

The show is broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 extra 3 times weekly and on iTunes, TuneIn and and Google play. Website is here and below is Soundcloud.

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