Benjamin Franklin said that only death and taxes can be certain. Heraclitus, 2,500 years before him, said that only change is certain. Today, it’s more like only increasing change is certain. In addition to death and taxes of course.
Change and self-disruption are hard. We know it’s needed. But we don’t like it (and prefer if others do the changing). Yet it’s necessary for renewal. The emerging world is awfully fast and noisy. Disruption is the norm rather than the exception. But how do we thrive and shine in such an environment?
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. – Darwin
We must be agile. Be quick and effective to adapt and respond to change. And stand out and differentiate in a noisy world. But what we face is new. There is no precedent. Nothing in the past to guide us forward. The digital world is growing and pervading our personal and business lives.
New doing is not enough. What worked in the past is less effective today. We need new thinking. A new perspective altogether. So we need to think different. And disrupt ourself. But how?
We cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created the problem in the first place. – Einstein
Eastern philosophy turns the world upside down
Eastern philosophy is designed to change thinking. It connects thinking with beliefs and suggests ways of changing it.
One of the most simple ways is Yin/Yang theory. Its purpose is to provide new insights, by reducing anything into two defining polarities.
This approach to change and disruption yields two key polarities:
- Our Purpose (what is most important to us), because all things being equal, it changes least of all. It’s the new starting point in the digital world. Our purpose is how we differentiate.
- Our Agility, which is our ability to simplify what we think and do, so that it can scale in the digital world. Our agility is how we change.
Agility comes from simplicity because complexity doesn’t scale in the digital world.
Purpose is our unique differentiator
Any word can replace purpose, but it must signify what is most important to us. It is the light house that holds strong in the raging winds of change and shines the light in the right directions.
Because it reflects what is most important, it’s also most personal. Our purpose is unique, like personality, and is the basis of our unique differentiator.
Agility is our new competitive advantage
Agility is based on simplification. But to simplify we need to ask different questions, beginning with WHY. Because WHY is the link to importance.
Understanding why we do what we do, and why we do it in our way, is the starting point for agility.
Smart self-disruption in three simple steps
Let’s put it all together into three simple steps:
- Discover purpose, passion, core values, or whatever we choose to call it. This is our only fixed point in the otherwise relative world.
- Prioritise everything according to purpose. Ask WHY questions to learn why we do what we do.
- Simplify everything important and let go of the unimportant. Ask WHY questions to learn why we do things the way we do.
These three steps will disrupt your thinking, make you agile, and get you started for digital success!
He is a published author of two books on transformation. Both are available on Amazon.
- ON PURPOSE – The Path to Extraordinary Business Transformation.
- FROM ORDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY – How to Re-Imagine Yourself and Re-Define what is Possible.
Jesper is Swedish and apologises for any Swenglish creeping into his writing.
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