1. Josh Bersin, Principal and Founder at Bersin by Deloitte has a great post up on Linkedin wherein he espouses the necessity of continually reinventing oneself. As supporting evidence, the piece cites research conducted by Oxford Economics that shows the primary issue employees worry about today is that their current skill sets will eventually become outdated. He goes on to highlight that 50% of respondents in the study believe their current skill sets will be obsolete within 3 years. This is a staggering number, but the truth of the matter is that even it may be understated. As Bersin goes on to point out, no matter what industry you’re in, the speed at which jobs are changing today makes it imperative that we all continue to grow and develop. Bersin has some great tips in the piece outlining what such a learning and developing process looks like, making this one a must read. You can check out the full article here.
2. Dan Maycock, Director of Strategy & Analytics at OneAccord Digital has a great piece up on Linkedin outlining some of the many reasons it’s difficult for companies to continually be disruptive in their industries. Among them, Maycock points out that being disruptive carries significant risks since making changes to a core product (or introducing a new one) may alienate one’s core customer base. Simply put, as companies grow and develop a customer base, there becomes increasing pressure to improve efficiencies in an effort to retain them. These pressures discourage innovation at more mature firms, allowing start-ups to displace them and subsequently carve out a large segment of the market for themselves… often eventually repeating the cycle themselves over time. Maycock goes on to write that this is in many ways all well and good – once a company has identified a niche that gives them excellent returns they should focus on it – so long as that focus is centered on ideas and concepts that are permanent as opposed to products and services (which are by nature transient). This is a particularly powerful concept when one thinks about how it can be applied to one’s own professional development; the technology and tools we use to get our work done are always changing. But if instead of chasing hot skills (which are by mature transient), we focus on developing competencies that will allow us to fulfill needs – which have permanence we greatly enhance lengthen our careers (and improve theirs trajectories). This is a really, really good read that expanded my thinking in several different directions… check it out here.
3. In a solid Linkedin piece that you can read here, Braden Kelley, Improvement and Innovation Manager at Premera Blue Cross reminds us that while failure and learning are often strongly correlated, they are not directly linked. He goes on to point out that we can often all learn just as much from from ours failures as we can from our successes if we treat our innovation efforts as discrete experiments designed to test things. Essentially, by approaching our efforts as learning vehicles, we can not only ensure that we learn from both our successes and our failures, but also that we learn faster from them than we otherwise might.
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.