Disruption is the New Normal. Now What?

Now WhatI was making a number of visits in the Boston area earlier this month, and two people from different biotech companies with whom I had set up appointments were suddenly placed on the wrong side of company downsizings.

The iPad came in really handy for finding a nearby Starbucks, when a corporate office was no longer available.

Several people I Skyped with last week, around the country and in various industries, were either in transition or navigating through professional instability.

This kind of disruption isn’t the exception anymore. It’s routine.

That’s why I found Chris Brogan‘s newsletter this weekend to be so timely. He advocates that we cultivate a mindset of innovation. Some choice extracts:

I was talking with (a) broadcast and media professional about how radio DJs are vanishing more and more every year. I said that I wondered what the people still holding onto their jobs were thinking, that “it’s going to be okay?” Lots of people are facing the extinction of their job. It’s not even really the economy any longer. It’s the overall realization that companies would look better if they got skinnier.

Thus, if you’re in any role that seems like it might be on its way out, or about to take a serious hit, why wouldn’t you be innovating and creating new ideas, devices, or methods to save yourself in some way? If you’re a journalist, a photographer, a musician, an agency employee, a publishing employee, or many other roles I’ve not named, aren’t you the least bit worried that your industry is in a crazy whitewater position?

You only accomplish this level of innovation for your business by taking on the challenge of accepting that nothing is forever, that your role and maybe even your industry isn’t forever, and that now is the only acceptable timetable for starting to figure out a new and divergent way to serve people.

I read somewhere a few days ago something that said: “Options are power, and power removes fear.” This is the perfect way to sum up the concept. Jump into the mindset of thinking through how you can stay ahead, how you can deliver new ideas and methods and/or devices or means to do what you do. Put yourself into new viewpoints as often as possible.

That’s how we owners think, right? We don’t wait for “them” to help us, and we sure don’t wait for “the economy” to fix our problems. You’re an owner, not a barista. What’s your innovation going to be?

Chris is right. It’s time to think like an Owner – the owner of your career, your future, your abilities, your marketplace.

To succeed in your own business, do you know how many really good ideas you need to come up with and execute on? Just one.

Do you know how many smart, supportive people you need in your network to help you move forward? Not thousands. Not even hundreds. A small inner circle is what you want.

You, and your network, are the new safety net.

Yes, there’s a lot of disruption going on. But instead of fearing it – shouldn’t you be the one causing it?

(if you’re not yet subscribed to Chris Brogan’s weekly e-newsletter, well, you can fix that by signing up right here).

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