Key point: Each of us must determine the benefit and desire to reinvent ourselves through a process of creative destruction. We benefit and thrive from being relentless at finding ways of providing more value and evolving as personal contributors at work. This does not mean we can’t be content. However I believe we must be content by having a mind set of continuous individual growth and improvement. I personally believe our purpose in life is to evolve and make a positive contribution. This involves creatively destructing and reconstructing what we do and who we are becoming. Where are you on this challenge? Do you embrace the idea or does it scare you?
MIT economist Daron Acemoglu and Harvard political scientist James Robinson have a fascinating new book out entitled Why Nations Fail. In it they highlight the value of creative destruction in thriving nations. One element that has historically allowed America, Canada and other nations to excel is an environment where new models of providing better value are encouraged. That concept made me think about creative destruction at an individual and personal level. If I get lazy or pedestrian about my personal growth and value, then I should not be surprised when I’m replaced. Frankly, I’m amazed when I hear people talk about permitting technology to pass them by, (“Twitter is stupid,” “Who cares about Social Media?”). I’m also struck by comments like “why read any new business books? There is nothing new anyway.” To me these views are signals inviting replacement and likely not in a self-driven, creative or even desirable way. And if that’s what you want, ok… As long as you accept the consequences.
- What are you doing to creatively destruct and reconstruct yourself in your career (life)? Are you proactive or just hoping everything turns out well? Are you hoping somebody or group will protect you or are you challenged and excited about continuous creative reconstruction?
- How will you be able to provide more value to your organization? Family? Self? At the end of 2012 from where you are today?
- Are you invigorated by or scared of change? Recognize when you are consciously stepping off the value track at work, versus unceremoniously being replaced by a better way. To me that is the definition of retirement, whether you are 25 or 65 years of age.
Creative reconstruction in The Triangle,