Just noticed this on my Amazon.com front page. Even so, the company was 5 years old by the time I became a customer. It's a reminder of the old adage, "Rome wasn't built in a day." Yes, agility is a key competency, but there are some things can't be rushed. It seems that those that can continually manage the tensions between fast and slow, strategic and tactical, creative and analytical, etc. may have the best shot at success. Perhaps we must become the embodiment of oxymorons.
So true. Learning this lesson (again) serves as a great reminder. As much as people want to see and know where things are going, there is no way to appreciate certain journeys until you've experienced them first-hand. There is no denying that learning by doing is profound. As I quoted one of my clients in the book, "I don't think any amount of preparation ahead of time would have made a difference. We couldn't know how deep it was going to go until we got there."
The challenge with all iteration, regardless of topic or application, is persistence. This doesn't come easy to anyone, me included. I do it because I know it is a key differentiator--it increases the chances of success. The majority of everyone else will opt out early. I suppose that's why marketing calls it "satisficing" since requires some sort of sacrifice on one's part. Choose your poison: either sacrifice your comfort level, or sacrifice the potential result. I choose the former in favor of (hopefully) better results. Will you join me?
Feels like Uber is getting a lot of media coverage these days, for better or worse. The title of this New York Times article is "Uber's Model Could Change Your Work" (Click the pic above to see it). I share this not because I agree with the author here, but for the dialogue that it stimulates. Warning-the tone is unnecessarily negative and conveys one emotion above all others, fear. Disrupting the status quo in an evolutionary or revolutionary way is how innovation happens. The #futureofwork is coming no matter what we do, so I'm not sure what this article expects people to do with their information other than to be cranky. We can influence whether it is for the better or worse. Having a tech company's model re-draw the boundaries is not necessarily a bad thing, it's different. The question for us individually is whether we are willing to adapt ourselves into the talent of the future and bring about positive outcomes. Work is changing and has always changed so there is no use fighting it. Leverage it.
"It is a bad plan that admits of no modification."
I was raised to be good at planning for the worst and hoping for the best. As an adult, I built upon this by doing all the responsible things that an adult should do. I stayed the eternal optimist and left what was outside my control to hope and faith.
Being a planner-optimist worked for the most part until new experiences broadened my view on things. It started in earnest when we were living and working abroad, which led to lots of opportunity to travel to new places. Travel taught me that planning every detail and activity would eliminate the opportunity to be spontaneous and to be a part of new experiences that can’t be planned ahead of time. Our best travel stories were happenstances, like the time in Italy when we came upon a outdoor club gathering on our hike and they fed us, or the time an old man carrying a sack of oranges in France gestured us to follow him up a hill to a breathtaking lookout point. This last summer, one of my favorite memories was of yodeling in the Alps…because we were lost in finding our hotel and we were in no rush and no one was around. I have learned that while planning helps to optimize time in a new place, one must also leave room to take a different path if it presents itself—the rewards can be priceless.
Now I carry this forward into my daily life. Where I was more rigid, I am more flexible, more improvisational, more creative. Adaptability is what has allowed me to survive my very challenging work environment. Adaptability has also encouraged me to see things in different ways and to pursue different paths I didn’t plan for before. Adaptability makes me feel more confident in taking risks.
I still plan, and I am still an optimist, but I’ve also added creative, and adaptor. To be good and stay good at planning, optimism, creativity, and adaptability, I know I must practice every day. The only downside is that I have lately found myself to be more incompatible with inflexible people who will die on their swords for the plans/views they cast in stone and then try to impose it on me. A new challenge to overcome :)
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