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How To Build a Future Others Don’t See

The Bold Ones

INNOVATION is more about being bold than being disruptive. If you want to push your career and your organization forward, you need to get bold.

Using examples of some of the most extraordinary disruptors, Shawn Kanungo offers eight lessons to help you become bolder in The Bold Ones.

Bold Ones are those who are brave enough to fundamentally reinvent themselves, challenge norms, and revolutionize their worlds. Bold Ones think, act, and build for a future they see, one that others close their eyes to.

Disruption strategist Kanungo presents the mindset needed and the strategies to adopt to create your own path forward.

Success Is a Pitfall

Past success kills innovation. You become the expert. You get comfortable with the status it brings you. To innovate, you need to let go of those things. You must approach things as if you knew nothing. “If you approach problems with the same “mindset” accessed five minutes ago, I promise you, you’re starting to become an expert, ripe for disruption.”

Tragically poignant observation: “He was the gatekeeper of a world he didn’t understand anymore.” He clung to the status quo, going down the only path he knew, and missed what was coming. Don’t let that be said of you. We see this too often.

Chipping Toward Your Next Big Move

We are advised to stick to our core competency. “The intention may be good, and there’s clearly wisdom in focus, but if we’re not careful, we’ll fall into a trap, one where we hyperfocus only on a niche, missing where the world’s going, or our own unique skill set.” In a changing world, it is important to continually ask yourself, “Where am I burying my head in the sand? Am I focusing too much on what I believe is my core competency?”

How do you avoid this trap? Explore. “You’ve got to have enough input into your life, enough ideas circulating, and enough channels of information, that there’s a constant flow.” Move outside your comfort zone. Explore areas not common to you. Check out the fringes.

Paradox of Piracy

Take a lesson from the greatest pirate of them all—the notorious Chinese pirate Ching Shih. “When you aim for the fringe, you ultimately attract the masses.” She inspired loyalty among those who had been marginalized by others. The paradox is “if you want to go broad in the long run, you’ve got to start by thinking niche in the short run.”

If you inspire the underdogs, you will find the deepest loyalties.

Disruption Is a Joke

It’s a joke until it’s not. A disruption always begins as a seemingly silly idea. “To drive the most value, you must go against the crowd and, simultaneously, be right in your contrarian ideas. You might be wrong a lot more than you’re right. But the one time you’re right will pay off big.” Always be willing to ask yourself (and your team), What are we missing? What if we’re wrong? And What if they’re right?

Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret

Innovation means discovering, not inventing. Discover what’s hidden—secrets. There are three kinds of secrets you should be on the lookout for: Obvious Secrets (Obvious secrets are loopholes-small little anomalies that, once exploited, offer immediate and real value. Ask bolder questions.), Hard-to-Find Secrets (Go outside your entire company to dig deeper into the customer psyche. Follow humans around to understand why they do what they do. In particular, pay attention to humanity’s oddest habits.) and finally Deepest, Darkest Secrets (To find these secrets you’ll need to wander outside your industry and consider broader trends in human behavior, or how an idea can be borrowed from one field and placed into a new context.).

One True Fan

You only need to deliver to one true fan. Create something “catchy.” Look for that shareable angle and then overdeliver to that one true fan. Respond to every interaction individually. No exceptions.

How to Engineer a Hot Streak

Science tells us that you are likely to experience a hot streak after a period of intense exploration. Hot streaks are not random. “The soon-to-be hot streakers first allow themselves to charge up by experimenting in a variety of areas, with varying degrees of success. After exploration, the individuals then prune back their efforts, laser-focusing on what they’re most talented at. And then they execute.”

If you want to engineer a hot streak, you need to do something to get it going. Jump in.

Disrupt a Culture; Leave a Legacy

To disrupt a culture, you need to do something that is bigger than you. Create powerful visuals, become great at telling stories, invite others in, and think big, but don’t get too far ahead of your audience. Never get past what they can tolerate at the moment.

Story tip: “The greatest stories don’t just provide the needed inspiration, but offer a touchstone, a point from which people can add to create their own story inside your universe.”

You don’t need to quit your job to innovate. Speak up. Be curious and ask, “Why do we do it this way?” Keep asking.

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Ideaflow Fear of Looking Stupid

Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:20 AM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Creativity & Innovation



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