There’s no doubt that our world is changing rapidly, and innovators are striving to stay ahead of the curve. How does one lead in a way that keeps up with change – and anticipate what’s coming?
My friend Robert Tucker has some thoughts about this, in his new article, Why You Need a Personal Innovation Strategy. Here is a snippet, and I encourage you to head over to Robert’s website to read the entire post:
…As a futurist and innovation coach, what I see happening is that individuals are being disrupted because their organizations are being disrupted. Hewlett Packard is laying off another 30,000 workers, as it copes with product commoditization and cloud computing. Publishing giant Pearson is cutting 4000 editorial staffers as it attempts to tackle a “storm” in the markets it serves. Such statistics are mere abstractions unless you witness your good friend Joe in Boston coping with sudden dislocation after being shown the door in the latest round of layoffs. Then it becomes real.
The challenge is to avoid personal obsolescence, and to thrive amidst the churn. And that’s why I believe in developing a Personal Innovation Strategy — a written out game plan to keep you on course and adding value no matter what’s going on in your life right now.
Here are four key components to building one:
1. Invest in your future every day. A Personal Innovation Strategy is a well thought out set of goals, habits, and daily actions that insure your relevance over time. Set both short and longer-term goals. Make it a point to learn something new every day. Ask questions, and take notes. Every day take at least fifteen minutes to “think ahead of the curve” and to strategize and invest time in contemplating your future. Ready yourself to assume new responsibilities, either in your present position or within an entirely new context. Build skills: communication skills, social skills, writing skills, functional skills. Volunteer. Say yes when asked to be on a new project team. Be willing to experiment and try new things. Always be thinking about finding your next opportunity. Develop your Innovation Skills (see below) because this set of skills puts you on the path to becoming more and more difficult to replace. Invest in your future every day.
2. Identify where you are and where you want to go. If you’re serious about taking control of your life, start by visualizing and fantasizing into the future as you most want it to be. Let your imagination go. How do you want life to work for you? What’s the view over the breakfast table? Sketch out a portrait of your life on a day in the future five and ten years out. Ask yourself: how is what you are doing in your job and in your life today helping you create the future as you most want it to be?