Why don’t more people disrupt themselves?

I spotted this tweet by fellow Renegade @stevekoss in response to this tweet by @wadhwa:

One word: Inertia. But I also think it’s because people don’t know what reinvention even means. And since reinvention doesn’t happen in a heart beat, people have a hard time identifying anything that changed for the better.

Before I saw these tweets, I was reading an article about how Shane Battier, a Miami Heat player, is adjusting to the rapid pace of the current season. For those of you who don’t know, the NBA season has been compressed because of the lockout. That means less games but also more games being played in a week. This is a dramatic change to how teams are used to operating. Less practices means learning things on the fly. It also means that players who started the season out of shape are playing catch up.

Shane Battier is Cerebral. He’s used to planning ahead because he knows most things in his life, for the most part, are going being a certain way. That means disruptions, like the one he’s living in right now, make him uncertain:

“I’m a guy who my entire life going back to eight years old I had a plan,” Battier said. “I always knew this is the way I am going to do things. For the most part it has worked out that way. So when I have uncertainty, uncertainty does stress me out. That’s what I feel right now.”

And continues:

“It has been a strange year for me personally,” Battier said. “First the lockout and then free agency and I’m still trying to find my stride basketball-wise. You can’t outthink a slump. You have to put your work in, you have to outwork it.”

This is not a blog post about basketball, but change is change. Anywhere and everywhere. Whether it’s technological or structural, change is change. And the vast majority of people are scared of change. They’re afraid to kick their current approach to reaching their goals to the curb and adopt a new approach.

This also brings up another point: Instead of educating people to become experts, we should educate people on the art of reinvention. The ability to unlearn is the best skill one can have:

Little attention has been paid to ignorance as a precious resource. Unlike knowledge, which is infinitely reusable, ignorance is a one-shot deal: Once it has been displaced by knowledge, it can be hard to get back. And after it’s gone, we are more apt to follow well-worn paths to find answers than to exert our sense of what we don’t know in order to probe new options. Knowledge can stand in the way of innovation. Solved problems tend to stay solved-sometimes disastrously so. – Quote taken from HBR article Wanted: Chief Ignorance Officer

We would do well to study artists who have stood the test of time like Madonna, Linkin Park, Metallica, Rolling Stones, U2 to name a few. Easier said than done, but what they all have in common is creative resiliency.

So, it can be done.

What’s your take?

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