The world is changing fast and so should you
We are living in an ever-changing world.
No professional today, whether in the public or private sector, can afford to be unaware of the pace of changes surrounding them.
The pace of business change happening around us is relentless.
The global forces of competition, innovation, and new technologies are creating new markets while eliminating others.
Multidimensional technological forces involving automation, 3D printing, augmented reality, machine learning, Industry 4.0, internet of things, and blockchain are rapidly transforming the future of work, organizations, and jobs.
A perfect storm is brewing
We are at the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution. Developments in machine learning, robotics, nanotech, biotech, and 3D printing are all building on and amplifying one another.
Technology is disruptive and it keeps transforming workplaces, business practices, and work processes.
Companies are trying hard to survive — the only way to survive is to adapt, change, and innovate fast.
Companies are hungrier for smart ideas and innovations than ever before because they know they will go extinct unless they learn, improve, evolve, accelerate, and create constantly.
Disruption is everywhere
89% of Fortune 500 companies from 1955 are not on the list in 2014.
The average age of a company listed on the S&P 500 was 67 years old in the 1920s. Right now this age is 15 years only and it keeps going down.
In 2028, 40% of all S&P 500 companies are expected to disappear from this list.
Similarly, 75% of S&P 500 firms are estimated to be replaced within 15 years.
In 1996, Kodak had nearly 150 thousand employees and $28 billion market cap. In 2008, the whole market was gone. The invention of digital cameras eliminated traditional camera businesses.
A company that is not trying to disrupt itself is destined to be disrupted.
The shape of organizations is shifting rapidly. There is a move towards organic structures, multi-disciplinary teams, and remote work.
The technological shifts favor the fast and agile, not the slow and stable. Why do big businesses keep buying startups?
Small businesses can now thrive and beat large organizations. When Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, it had only 13 employees.
The pace of change is faster than any response. Few companies take a long hard look at the big picture and why they should be part of this changing picture.
A digital revolution happened where each individual is now an entrepreneur and an artist
We are experiencing a digital revolution and the industrial paradigm is over.
Mass production is becoming obsolete and 3D printers are replacing factories.
Companies work in virtual networks and remote work is the order of the day.
Products are bought on demand and they are customized by default.
We do not need huge scales of economy, organization charts, hierarchies, factories, standardized exams, or large production floors anymore.
We do not need cable TV, mass-market, and broadcast advertising anymore.
We are now experiencing a borderless, democratized, digital world where each individual can have a huge impact.
Creating your own game has never been so crucial
We can now create our own game in this world.
We can design games, create our own blogs or podcasts or YouTube channel or raise funds on Kickstarter.
We can write a book and explain ourselves to the world.
We can create our own lifestyle brands on wellness, health, productivity, or creativity.
We can create fresh and exciting digital products (training, courses, experiences etc.)
We live in a world where ideas can change people’s lives.
This means all of us can create our own game.
Reinventing and disrupting ourselves is the only way forward
It is impossible to imagine that the skills needed at work will remain the same in the new decade.
The world is changing fast and we need to learn, re-invent, and disrupt ourselves every day.
We need to be as open to learning, adaptation, and change.
We need to re-invent ourselves every day.
When there are sudden tectonic shifts around us, we need to adapt fast.
If we stop learning and being curious, it will be too late to react.
When an exponential change happens, our time to react will be minimal.
If we cannot adapt and learn, we might just fade into insignificance.
The career ladder is broken
Career transitions are much more frequent today.
Jobs are less secure. The career ladder is gone.
Supporting organizational structures have disappeared.
We need to manage uncertainty and change — more than ever.
We need to learn to feel more comfortable with constant change and uncertainty.
It is like surfing (riding the waves) or dancing (improvising on the spot).
The world is changing so fast that knowledge and skills become obsolete very fast.
In order to adapt to change, we need curiosity and lifetime learning.
“Self development” is the order of the day.
We need to constantly explore, read, learn new skills and adapt to new situations.
The pace of change is often reflected in the demands of employers.
Employers today want graduates who are flexible and adaptable — fast learners and experimenters.
The ability to adapt and apply existing capabilities to new situations has become more crucial than ever.
We live in an age of experimentation and play
In this day and age, we cannot hang on to the status quo and move on.
We cannot continue business as usual.
We need radically new solutions.
We need to look up to the future and imagine how the future will look like.
Then, we need to situate ourselves within that future and work on strategically improving our position.
This requires a lot of learning, experimentation, and investment in the self.
We need to see where we are going, make sense of how the outside world is changing, identifying new trends and challenges, and work on creating new opportunities and possibilities for ourselves.
The best startups go to where the future is. They innovate and create the future. They are the ones who disrupt before they are disrupted.
The moment that we stop learning is the moment we die
Even if we are a winner, our current position is not sustainable. We do not have the luxury to stop.
Change is exponential, so we need to catch the new waves.
Small is beautiful, so we need to compound our learning and creativity.
If we invest in our learning and creativity every day, we will get amazing returns in the long term.
In a fast, complex, and uncertain world, one of the best assets you will have is your own creativity.
Your imagination knows no boundaries and it is literally without any limits.
So, we should use it more often.
We need to use it to do something different and do better.
Creativity is just connecting things and we are all creative — we just need to reclaim it
Creativity is largely the ability to link ideas together. It is about building connections even when they are not visible.
The capacity to see linkages that will generate us new opportunities and insights.
We need to iterate and build lots of ideas and solutions.
Originality comes from thinking independently and creating a huge volume of ideas and work.
We also need to remember that creativity is involved in problem finding, not just problem-solving.
So, we need to find problems that are really worth solving.
As human beings, we have managed to fly and even reach outer space.
There is no way but to learn to fly.
It is time for all of us to innovate.
We need to give ourselves challenges to get out of our comfort zones
These challenges might be entrepreneurial, artistic, professional, mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, or creative challenges.
Design your own challenges and adventures now. What will be your next adventures? Write them below.
Time for playing or exploring is not wasted time
We need to provide ourselves more opportunities for pure play, exploration, and adventure.
This means sometimes we will be wasting time and that is OK; as long as we keep learning and exploring.
Even if we have no idea on how to solve a problem, we can still figure out what to do and improvise.
We may not know how to go forward, but we can always learn, figure out a strategy, iterate, develop, practice, and improve.
We need to take more risks — it is OK to look stupid and try out new things.
Change is always frustrating and uncomfortable, but it is the only way forward.
We need to treat every experience as a learning experience. Go out there and start again.
We need to embrace failure and not take ourselves so seriously
Perhaps we will suck and that is fine — we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously.
If we really want to get lucky in the long term, we need to provide ourselves more opportunities for failure.
Failures are merely stopping points along the bigger journey.
We need to celebrate your failures and use them as learning opportunities.
We need to develop more grit and resilience to get back up after a failure.
We need to take a long-term view
Imagine your best future self after 10 years. Start acting like that person today.
Act like the CEO of your own life.
Where do you want to be in 10 years?
Do not leave it to others to choose your destiny.
Make a plan, and work toward it.
Take a small action every day, consistently.
You need to think and act long term and not give up on your dreams.
Even if the whole world is turning itself against on your ideas, you need to hang in there and be patient.
J. K. Rowling was rejected by at least a dozen publishers before she was able to publish Harry Potter.
Star Wars was rejected by many major studies until it became a household brand and franchise worth 70 billion dollars.
We need to remember that this is a marathon and we are playing the long game.
We should not be discouraged by failures and rejections.
Exercise: Create your own Manifesto
Now, here is a great exercise for you.
In the next 10 minutes, you will create your own personal manifesto.
You can include your principles and values.
You can include your own quotes.
You can include your personal philosophy.
You can also include slogans that will inspire you.
It is up to you.
You can write it as a letter to yourself.
When you are done, you can put it on your wall as a poster for inspiration.
Good luck in writing and creating this.
You can see my manifesto below.
I have written it in 10 minutes.
Please create your own now.
We do not know about tomorrow’s jobs, workplaces, and organizations.
The only thing we can be sure about is the necessity of self-making: We have to constantly learn, be open to change, and disrupt ourselves.
We also need to find our own strengths, meanings, and voice in the middle of all the chaos and noise surrounding us.
In these disruptive times, the smartest action you can take is to disrupt and reinvent yourself.
Are you learning new and exciting things every day?
How can you ensure you are learning, pushing yourself, and your brain every day?