You were at the centre of attention. You were a guru in your topic, a real expert, whenever someone had an issue with that speciality you were the go-to person that came first to their mind to talk to, until … that expertise became obsolete.
A new App, a new approach, a new version meant that you lost all of your front-runner top innovator expertise and now need to go back to being … a beginner.
This situation is going to happen every day more often in our working lives.
That “beginners mindset” is what will save you from becoming obsolete. But it is not an easy way of adapting. It is a very humbling experience.
A beginners mindset means being totally comfortable with not knowing, with wanting to learn and with the best attitude to learning fast, well and often.
Ego comes in the way of letting go and accepting that “hey you know what? I need to #reskill / #upskill / train / retrain / learn” (and keep learning).
But a beginner mindset can make your life so easy: “you know what I don’t know and guess what many other people don’t know either.” What will make you different and better is that you will be open to, eager to, ready to begin and learn.
You can be (and should be) the fastest and best at learning.
It is actually easier than you think, but you first have to let go of your reputation, actually you just need to transition your reputation:
from being an expert at a few things
to becoming an expert at learning.
Are you open to becoming a beginner and starting from the beginning again?
I was reading in a recent innovation article “like with most tech accelerators, the emphasis is more on building things than planning things” and this sparked in me a conundrum that I’d be curious to read your ideas about.
What should be the ratio in a truly innovative company between building many MVPs or not so minimum, viable products and planning the best way forward?
It seems instinctive to keep trying and failing fast, yet you would think that a “little” planning might go a long way in reducing the liabilities and increasing the likelihood of success.
It seems to me that how you define success might push you to act in one or the other way:
if your organization’s success is measured in the amount of sales, the amount of clients, the amount of profit then clearly a more focused, planned, path forward makes more sense.
What if you define success as the amount of learning?
In that case clearly the balance shifts towards more new frontier-pushing trial and error.
That is why I feel that a missing connection could be the solution: the connection between academia and enterprises. People in academia have a different time sensitivity and are very complementary with the speed of innovation in enterprises (big and small).
So finding your source of learning and experimenting whilst balancing with enough time for planning might be one way forward for the best innovation and learning and overall success to emerge.
We live in fortunate phoenix-like times!
One reason why we are very fortunate to live in these times is that we can re-start try-again with our enterprises a practically infinite amount of times, it’s like an ideal time to phoenix-ourselves.
IN THE PAST:
if you stood out from a crowd, if you dared too much, you were likely not just to be left out cold, fail, be made a fool of and forever have to go back to your dark hole of conformity.
You were also highly unlikely to be given a second chance by your bank, by your clients, by your peers.
You can try and try again, stand out, dare, even fail a few times, learn each time but start again with new insights and vigour until you really get it right.
Just like we used to have ONE career and the first choice in your life decided the rest of your life, now you can (and should) try out many careers, often in parallel and not sequentially.
In the same way, today, in these phoenix-like times, the time is ideal to restart and reshape and rebirth your ideas and company until you really get it right.
But even then, don’t just stop and keep re-phoenixing yourself, every time better, learning each and every time, refining and improving.