▼ Reinvent or Become Irrelevant▼
STRATEGY & DEVELOPMENT BLOG PORTABLE
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Don't Follow the Map. Poke the Box.
HELPER FILE FOR BREAKTHROUGH IDEAS SERIES
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Years ago, when you were about four years old, the system set out to persuade you of something that isn’t true.
Not just persuade, but drill, practice, reinforce and, yes, brainwash.
The mission: to teach you that you’re average; That compliant work is the best way to a reliable living; That creating average stuff for average people, again and again, is a safe and easy way to get what you want.
Step out of line and the system would nudge (or push) you back to the center. Show signs of real creativity, originality or even genius, and well-meaning parents, teachers and authority figures would eagerly line up to get you back in line.
Our culture needed compliant workers, people who would contribute without complaint,
and we set out to create as many of them as we could.
And so generations of students turned into generations of cogs—factory workers in search of a sinecure. We were brainwashed into fitting in, and then discovered that the economy wanted people who stood out instead.
Over time, the benefit of working for the man and following a manual as a compliant cog is going to go down, while, paradoxically, the difficulty in getting a decent job will go up.
We just lived through a few generations of huge companies that got bigger, giant bureaucracies that got bigger and white-collar jobs that got farther and farther away from actually making something that a customer might buy.
And then, pretty suddenly, that faded. Unemployment goes up, downsizing happens, layers of fat disappear and the idea that you could get a good job, indoors, paid well, doing not much except watching the dog that bites the pilot if he messes with the autopilot... well, those jobs are gone.
Is that it? Are you done? Is this the end of the road, the best it’s going to get, the beginning
of the end?
Same job, but more work, less pay.
Same industry, but less growth, no challenges.
Same path, fewer options.
It’s entirely possible that you’ve trudged as far as you can go on this road, and that the slog is just going to be more of the same. Possible.
But I don’t believe it.
Because there’s more leverage, more degrees of freedom and more opportunity today than ever before—if you’re up for the choice.
If you’ve got the time, the intellect and the access to get your hands on an idea that spread as this manifesto did, then you have the ability to reinvent yourself, regardless of what you do, who you do it with, or what the people around you expect.
The pillars we grew up with (things like General Motors, TV, the postal service, retirement, top down media and commodities) are disappearing and are being replaced with entirely new ways of interacting, making a living and making a difference. Not just for organizations, but for individuals.
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Read more below. Or begin 2013 by questioning in earnest. All images hyperlinked.High Impact Strategic Business Sense Series (4iXL)
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Breakthrough Ideas for October 2012
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