Invention v. Reinvention In The Age of Disruption
Human history is littered with examples of how rebuilding is so much swifter and more complete if whatever preceded it was wiped out. Of course, that has typically come after something very bad has happened.
It is just so much easier for most of us to build or learn something altogether new than it is to rebuild by replacing the bricks of our castle one at a time or to have to relearn something we feel we already know most of.
Serial rebuilders and serial learners are probably spared from this, but for most of us, having our ways that we do things can be counter-productive when changes are required, as so many changes are incompatible with the processes we have set up or the ideas that have become ingrained in us.
The importance of not being hung up on old methodologies when learning new or updated technologies really can’t be stressed enough. The least satisfying of all reasons I hear for people doing things in inefficient ways are the variations on a theme of “this is the way we do things”. But those old methods may simply not work anymore!
Comparing many large companies to some of the more vibrant and innovative newcomers of the last several years, it can come of little surprise, particularly to people who have at any time worked in Corporate America or their country’s equivalent, that the bulk of innovation comes from the stealthy newcomers that are not bound by restrictions of their own making.
It should equally come as little surprise that so many of the advances of the new mega-corporations follow the old IBM model of buying companies, small and not so small, that have innovated in areas in which they see growth or where they hit road blocks with their own offerings.
Of course, this is a form of team building – they buy companies to fill a void where you might seek to bring in a collaborator who has a skillset that you lack or one that is out of date.
Two interrelated takeaways. Independent of scale:
The infusion of new ideas and the understanding of whether necessary change can be accomplished in a timely and effective manner from within and when to seek that freshness externally, are vital to the continued success of any company
The importance of the ability to accept that something you do, whether a large or small aspect of your processes, has become a hindrance to your future growth and must be replaced, cannot be minimised.
(This excellent image was found here: http://changethis.com/manifesto/show/80.02.ReinventionImperative)
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