A few days ago I found myself reading one of the many posts out there about X reasons why brands refuse to embrace social media. The truth is many companies are already irrelevant because they fail to see the world as continuously evolving.
First it’s important to understand that as humans we are taught to see everything as a phase because it makes it easier for us to make sense of things by being able to separate one event from the others. The problem with this way of thinking is it tries to make everything predictable in the short term by not focusing on the long term consequences.
Win today and don’t worry about tomorrow.
Adaptability requires a you to see events as continuous, not linear. For an adaptable company change is always happening, not just between events. The objective of being adaptable is to be able to win as many times as possible but not worry about winning every single battle.
Stories abound of companies that became irrelevant because they failed to adapt, choosing to follow a predictable death. Most of these companies waited until chaos arrived to make adjustments and others clinged to the past. Why wait until chaos comes knocking on your door, adaptability is the most crucial skill you’ll ever need and it should be part of your strategy because if you don’t adapt you’re already irrelevant.
An exercise that always works wonders is showing people a vision where they no longer exist because they failed to adapt. Try it yourself, grab a few people from your office and ask them about the challenges facing your business:
What they’re most afraid of?
What keeps them up at night?
If they don’t have a clear answer for both, you’re already in trouble because you’re sitting in a very comfortable position and nothing is challenging your business.
What do you think? What actions do you take to make your business adaptable?
Last night I went to the premier of Michael Jackson’s This is it. In the movie you’re looking at a creative genius at work but you’re also looking at the world through his eyes. It’s a great movie to watch if you a MJ fan because he WAS going to put on show!
Although there are many things we can take away from MJ, there is something a friend of mine said tome after it was over that got me thinking. The Billie Jean performance is Michael at his best.
In his own words:
When I see MJ you don’t need to live abroad or to go visit new places to get in your inventive or creative mood… INNOVATION comes from INSPIRATION, it comes from INSIDE. Just like a little kid, who makes out of a simple box, castles, dungeons, towers with trapped princesses inside or secret passages, MJ takes in all of his surroundings and transforms them into a work of art. Just as he did once, with just A SIMPLE BOX, a GLOVE and A HAT.
MJ’s creative toolbox consists of a box with a hat and a glove and the best dance moves in the business. That’s it! Simple as that!
Anyone can put on a hat, a glove and dance but MJ makes the hat and glove all part of the dance, the performance. They become an extension of himself, his persona.
The whole key is he never lost his ability to astonish. Our inner child needs to be nourished, and see what no one else sees. We must never lose our ability to astonish ourselves.
So ask yourself, in my business what would be equal to the box, glove and hat I can use to create a memorable experience?
Your competitors will be trying to figure your strategy out and since they can’t think of making customers happy as a strategy (it’s not logical?), they won’t be able to compete! They’ll think you’re out of your mind.…
What are the personal characteristics of successful innovators?
Anyone can change his or her behavior to improve creative impact in a company, according to some new research by Jeffrey Dyer, Hal Gregersenwhich included a six-year study surveying 3,000 creative executives and conducting an additional 500 individual interviews they found five ‘discovery skills’ that distinguish them:…
Why are people afraid of failure? Failure’s not just part of life, it’s essential to life — and to success. Henry Ford put it most eloquently: “Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently”. You can’t learn if you don’t fail.
The fact is all people will fail more than a few times in our lives.
We tend to learn more from our mistakes than our successes. At our best, we turn them to our advantage. Thomas Edison once said, "I make more mistakes than anyone I know. And eventually I patent them."
If you believe that your talents are inborn or fixed, then you will try to avoid failure at all costs because failure is proof of your limitation. People with a fixed mindset like to solve the same problems over and over again. It reinforces their sense of competence.
Children with fixed mindsets would rather redo an easy jigsaw puzzle than try a harder one. Students with fixed mindsets would rather not learn new languages. CEOs with fixed mindsets will surround themselves with people who agree with them. They feel smart when they get it right.
But if you believe your talent grows with persistence and effort, then you seek failure as an opportunity to improve. People with a growth mindset feel smart when they’re learning, not when they’re flawless.
Michael Jordan, arguably the world’s best basketball player, has a growth mindset. Most successful people do. In high school he was cut from the basketball team but that obviously didn’t discourage him: "I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game wining shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
If you have a growth mindset, then you use your failures to improve. If you have a fixed mindset, you may never fail, but neither do you learn or grow.
If you don’t risk failure, you’re not trying hard enough.