Burst of Innovation - How to Stay Relevant in Complex Changing Times

woman frustrated office team holding paper

We’re all familiar with the old phrase “What got me here, is not going to get me there”.  Things continue to move fast and change quickly. The things that got us to success yesterday don't always work moving forward.  A report by McKinsey predicts that for six out of ten jobs, 30% of their activities can now be done by technology.  So, just how do you stay relevant in these fast paced times? 

How to Stay Relevant

First off, be like an accountant I recently met.

See Change as Opportunities. Reframe, Reframe, Reframe.

At a recent accounting industry conference, before I took the stage, I had a chat with one of the board members of the organizing association.

He said, “In five years, the accounting degree isn't even going to exist." I, kind of jokingly, kind of seriously said back to him, "Well, then what are we doing here? Let's just go have coffee.”

And then he said something that really stuck with me. He said, "Oh no, Tamara. Here's the beauty of it. When things change, it opens up new opportunities."

This gentleman could have thrown up his arms in frustration and admitted defeat. He didn't. He changed his lens. Instead of looking at it as something being taken away from him, he looked at it in a different light and saw that he had to change how he did things. He saw that change as opportunity instead of loss. We can all learn to reframe change. We can all consider change as new opportunities  and challenges, all of which can be solved given the right frame of mind, attitude and approach. 

With any change, there is opportunity. Of course, new challenges or frustrations come up. Perhaps, technology or artificial intelligence or even outsourcing is taking over a large portion of your job. Instead of looking at these changes in a negative light, think of them as freeing you up from doing the mundane tasks so you can focus on bringing new insights and building new strategies. Use the opportunity to lead and show that you are  more innovative and more human, and create value in ways people will appreciate.

So, go ahead. Shift your mindset. See change as opportunity. Alter your approach to new challenges and stay relevant.

Use Your Natural Assets and Strengths

You have natural assets and strengths. Use these strengths to play a critical part in helping you stay relevant in changing times. Use your innate skills and abilities to your advantage in a variety of contexts. Take a few minutes and write down what you're good at. For instance: 

  • Are you  good at networking? 
  • Are you  good at connecting the dots? 
  • Are you  good at seeing ten steps ahead of everybody else? 
  • Are you  good at seeing the gaps in thinking that other people don't see? 
  • Are you good at seeing opportunities where others just see problems?

You have incredible strengths that you probably don't think about enough. These strengths can give you an edge if you apply them. Sometimes, all it takes is a minute to consider where your natural abilities lie, and how you can leverage them in new way and situations. You might be surprised how much much value you add.

Tap into Your Unique Innovation Style

Did you know that no two brains are wired the same way? You think uniquely. You innovate uniquely. And that’s your key to being indispensable. [To find out how you innovate, take the free assessment!]

Your unique Everyday Innovator style sets you apart from everyone else. You can leverage your style and stay relevant. For example, the Inquisitor could draw on their ability to ask challenging questions to get their clients, customers, and teams to think differently. The Risk-Taker could help their team and clients push forward to be bigger and bolder. If you're an Imaginative, you could help your clients and leaders see the opportunities in the gaps.

Whatever your Everyday Innovator style, you have something unique to bring to the table. Drawing from how you are wired naturally and how you instinctively innovate is what will help you become indispensable and stay relevant.

It's Not Really an Either/Or Game

Here’s the thing about relevancy: It's really not an either/or game. Approaching it from the perspective of “I'm relevant, or I'm not” is a very fixed mindset. Relevancy means shifting and adapting with the times. So, start thinking about change as something that you can harness and leverage, and not something to be afraid of. 

At the end of the day, if you’re approaching change with the right mindset, and are leveraging your natural strengths, abilities and innovation style, what change really does is open up new opportunities.

Here's a recent 10-minute talk I did. Watch it now and learn how to stay relevant. 



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