Key Point: Be aware of the innovations happening around you and whether your skills, personal attributes, and value are relevant and significant in this rapidly changing world. Do you know who Vijay Govindarajan is? You might want to follow him. This Harvard PhD is perhaps the world’s most sought after and distinguished academic focusing on innovation and strategy in the world. His work includes the concept of reverse innovation. That means providing more value at dramatically lower costs, while still being profitable. Do you think it is possible to conduct open-heart surgery at a cost of $2,000 USD, with quality better than the Mayo Clinic and still make 45 percent margins? Well apparently it is. Or how about developing a prosthetic device made out of recycled yogurt containers that costs less than $30 dollars and performs better than a titanium device costing an average of $22,000 USD? We could benefit by applying reverse innovation thinking for ourselves. How do we provide more value at lower total cost to the people who pay us while still increasing our net worth?
The painful reality is that the world is facing a skill, attribute and value crises more than an employment crises. Growing, profitable organizations have cash to spend and invest in people with the skills and attributes they really want and need. However the world is changing so fast that the jobs and personal characteristics that were relevant or significant five years ago, often no longer are. So we have to reinvent or reverse innovate ourselves. What do we need to have as a skill, attribute and value set three years from now?
What is happening around us that could deeply impact our status and employment? As an example, people like Tom Koulopoulos, author of the thought-provoking book, Cloud Surfing, firmly believes our greatest asset will be the community and connections we develop within “the cloud.” And the perfect storm behind velocity, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity is work that is quickly becoming placeless, ageless, weightless and yet increasingly complex. So, what’s in it for you to embrace this “white water ” world and tornado change?
- Give yourself time to reflect and think about what skills you need to grow and develop to continue relevance, significance and value over the next three to five years? What are they? Why?
- Be able to understand and be mindful of the potential impact of the “cloud,” big data and mobility on your work life. Go ahead and measure your Cloud Surfing IQ. Read about “Big Data” and better understand what the term means. Try and do as many things as you can on a mobile device (and I don’t mean a laptop).
- Go and join five million others (including 10,000 teachers) who live and learn on the free learning site, Khan Academy. I hope you will find it both stimulating and that it causes you to think about what’s in it for you.
- Self reflect on your ability to become more agile, collaborative and fully fluent in mobile technology. And most importantly, in the spirit of being accountable, develop your own personal development plan to “innovate” yourself regardless of where you are in terms of age, experience, gender, and/or location.
- Challenge yourself on relevance, significance and value. Get out of your comfort zone and have the courage to enjoy the ride “rebooting” yourself.
Rebooting in the Triangle