You can’t predict the future, you have to create it. Still, a main component of doing innovation is forecasting; understanding what drives the future. This is something I get asked about a lot, and don’t claim to be a futurist. What I do know is that one of the key skills of the future is imagining future scenarios; futuring.
Rebels, misfits, renegades, heretics or troublemakers whatever you call them, are commonly seen as difficult to work with. Why? Because their strengths (driven, talented, smart and impatient in achieving outcomes) can sometimes make them come across as assholes and go rogue.
Innovation is hard, it doesn’t happen by following a tried and true cookie cutter approach. It often begins when someone begins to think and act differently, usually in isolation, from the rest of an organization; challenging convention.
Society loves experts! Why? Because people are highly persuaded by authority; and being an expert is considered being an authority. But experts are human, and therefore are fallible in their judgment; especially when it comes to predicting the future.
Anyone who achieves great things in any domain has the courage to be wrong. This means you’re willing to go against convention and look like an idiot. This is one characteristic that separates game-changers from everyone else; and it’s very uncommon.
A few weeks ago I treated myself to a deep tissue and hot stone massage. The place I went to was recommended by a friend, so I was looking forward to it. As someone who likes massages and spends some time watching YouTube videos on it, I’m “somewhat demanding” for what I’m paying for. Still, I arrived with no expectation and simply accepted a recommendation.
We’ve all, of course, read about the spectacular success of startups. It’s impossible to escape the amazing tales of people starting with an idea in a garage (think Apple) and growing it into a billion-dollar global business. But a startup isn’t as easy as those well-known stories might have you think. There’s a little bit of luck and a whole lot of other influences at play.