Companies do not disrupt, people do. You drive corporate innovation and disruption through personal innovation and disruption. So how do you disrupt yourself? In order to answer this question, we had the great privilege of having Caroline Mutoko host our #AfterOfficeHours Session last month where she shared tips on disrupting before you are disrupted.
During the talk, it was clear that to get extraordinary results, people need to defy all odds and work against the status quo. You have to be so hungry that your hunger pushes you out of your comfort zone to go and look for food!
Here are more takeaways from the session that will help you survive the age of disruption
We have all experienced failure in one way or another.
Failure is heartbreaking, shameful, and often very upsetting. “If you let a failure become a referendum on you, the millstone of shame will drown you and your dreams,” said Johnson. The key is for us to learn from our failures and construct a positive personal narrative. My favorite excerpt from the book is about knowing when it is okay to quit:
Caroline reminded us that our hatred of and shrinking from failure typically starts when we are children. But to accelerate your growth, you must learn to fail gracefully. When you disrupt, you are walking into the unknown, exposing yourself to the risk of failure. The key is to recognize that it’s not a matter of if, but when.
One lesson you might learn from failure is that you are on the curve yourself. Learn to let go and remember, that does make mistakes. Smart doers make original mistakes.
Always strive to bring out a better version of yourself. Look for better and great opportunities to help you stand out from your peers. “ In the era of Google, you can’t afford to be ignorant,” said Caroline.
A discovery-driven career requires us to explore and not be afraid of discovery. We can’t see the top of the curve from the bottom and often you can find yourself in places that you hadn’t anticipated.
The key is to follow your north star and know that as you start your journey of personal disruption, you are in search of yet-to-be-defined places.
You are an explorer, driven by new learning opportunities to contribute to something that is important to you and others.
Surfing the curve of your own personal disruption is challenging, rewarding, exhilarating and fun. But it can also be scary and lonely. Try not to crash.
Also, try and be unique, by traveling the road that has the least traffic. “Don’t mirror me. Look at what I do right, rip it off & create yourself on a new canvas,” she said
While the invention is about creating something new and original, innovation involves turning that novelty into a commercial product. Innovation might be the business world’s glamorous synonym for success, but at its core will always lay invention.
Re-invention on the other hand is about creating a new solution to a problem by matching existing technologies to current and emerging consumer behaviors.
Successful brands like Apple, Walt Disney, and so on are bid on reinvention is not only about the product itself; anything surrounding the product can become a source of value to the consumer and therefore ripe for reinvention.
So, the next time you’re looking for that lightbulb moment, think instead about what you know about the products, established norms, and customer touchpoints in your space. Just thinking pf what can be re-imagined is a good starting point
Change is inevitable: whether it’s ever-evolving technology, a suddenly-competitive talent pool, or disruption in your industry. Many organizations still fail to plan for change, thinking that it’s impossible to anticipate or not relevant at a given moment.
According to Caroline, leaders must never forget that change is either going to be done “by you” or going to be done “to you.” People do not like change but in any organization, the one thing we know is going to happen is change.
While it’s not always possible to predict change, it is possible to prepare your organization or yourself to adapt when the unpredictable happens.
Organizations must prepare for change long before it arrives in order to adapt, survive, and grow. The first step toward building flexibility and resilience is understanding disruptive internal and external factors. Then, you can begin to identify opportunities to prepare for the unexpected and to mitigate negative consequences when disruption occurs.
While there are a myriad of lessons we gathered during the chat, The life that you have always wanted to live is on another side of your fears, anxiety, and your comfort zone. Question is, will you be brave enough to go after your dreams and to settle for nothing less until you achieve them?
You can also watch a recap of the session on our Youtube Channel here. We also hope you can create time to join us later in the week, for an #AfterOffice Session with Roy Gitahi to gather more insights on entrepreneurship.