Tag Archives: reinvention

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.

For innovation distinguish form from function

The internet is killing newspapers right? Yes and no. What it is killing is it’s form (ink on paper), what it’s not is it’s function (sifting through everything that happens in a day and selecting what’s really important).

The form of the newspaper as we know it is slowly disappearing but it’s function is not.

If the newspaper companies, like the Washington Post, see themselves as being in the business of running printing presses and distributing newsprint, they are slowly disappearing. But if they see themselves as an event editors, they are surviving and thriving.

Can mastery and innovation coexist?

Jonathan Fields posted this question in a Psychology Today article last week. Here is my answer and would love to hear yours.

It’s a great question and not at all difficult to answer, though it’s better said than done. First of all, mastery is never achieved. It’s a goal, but a goal we’ll never reach. As much as you think that somebody is  ‘the master’ of something, it’s just a psychological illusion. It’s your human biases at work. It’s an illusion because you’re already thinking that it can’t be improved in some way. And that my friend, is your endgame.

In the world of sports this phenomenon is more obvious, and even the people who are considered the best at what they do will tell you they’re always improving because they know they’ll never fully master their craft.

In the business world it’s not all different. Companies have evolved since forever, some started as a completely different business than what they are today. You may master some process but that process will eventually become irrelevant. It will be replaced by either another process (incremental) or by an unforeseen evolutionary paradigm (disruptive).

Let’s think about what we’ve never thought about

Those are the words a client of mine told one of his Lieutenants last week. His company is in crisis mode. Hard times are coming and in an effort to not lay off people, he’s giving them part-time.

He told me this last week in our meeting .

I was there to give a presentation about social media and how his industry might change because of it, and it ended up igniting this ‘we’re changing direction’ conversation afterwards!

I do have to say that when he said ‘let’s think about what we’re never thought about’, deep down, I felt really happy to hear that from someone other than myself. I think my client might have caught my micro-expression of the Grinch while he said those words:

grinch smile

Yes! Not in an evil sense, but in a ‘permission to shake things up’ way!

But, it’s a shame you have to hear a CEO say ‘Let’s think about what we’ve never thought about because we might not make it to the end of the year’ until a crisis hits an organization.

Part of our conversation also unearthed how this behavior had plagued his company for years. How they had been reacting to competitors moves during a span of 8 years and how this mindless behavior had cost them hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars! It’s cheap change compared to corporations but in any world that’s a lot of money!

Reflecting on the crisis at hand and seeing the same patterns from the past, my client essentially said:

We have to go on another direction. We have to make our own path.

Sometimes innovation starts with a critical decision to reinvent yourself and your business. A moment of truth.

When we talk about taking the time to reflect and ponder about the future, this is exactly what we mean one has to do. No just sit there and daydream, but to think about alternate realities. Realities where what you are doing today is completely different tomorrow. To go find the revolution before it finds you.

To help you see alternate realities, it’s important to bring in outsiders to be able to see familiar situations from a different perspective. As he sat there and said he was ready to go find the revolution but that had no clue where to start, I told him I recommend he read Disrupt by Luke Williams, which I reviewed a few months ago, before we start thinking about that.

And to stimulate his ‘disruptive state’ some more, I put this video on:

If you can imagine a 52 year old man with the energy of a 5 year old, that’s what I saw. Exciting times ahead!

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Weekend innovation tip: what made you great in the past will not make you great in the future

Your business will fundamentally look different tomorrow than it does today. Don’t believe me? Look at the newspapers business, the digital music business, the airline business, the auto sales business, we can go on and on.

Your only option for survival is to innovate, to recreate yourself and your business.

The Hazing film But before you innovate you have to accept that what made you successful in the past, will not make you successful in the future.

You have to stop fighting the last war. Consciously wage war against the past and force yourself to react to the present moment.

Redemption: A Mile from Hell movie download Key takeaway:

Never take it for granted that your last successes will continue into the the future. Actually, your past successes are your biggest obstacle: every battle, every war, is different, and you cannot assume that what worked before will work today. You must cut yourself lose from the past and open your eyes to the present.