Evolve and Thrive or DIE
The competitive world is moving faster than ever. Innovation is attacking from every corner. Expectations are constantly changing. All competitive advantages are temporary. Today, success is not about how much money you have raised, how well you can execute against a plan or how creative your solutions were yesterday. To win, you must stay relevant, always.
Ask yourself: Are you evolving fast enough? Are you innovating ahead of the curve? Are you mapping your capabilities to tomorrow? Are you staying relevant?
To compete and win, you must shift your mind and change your actions. You and your company have a unique DNA with a unique path to emergence. Winning is no longer about static planning processes, pre-conceived charts, graphs and anecdotes. Your victory depends on how you i) Align with Uncertainty—Adjust to the dynamic world around you; ii) Appreciate Reality—Understand what is achievable now while building your future in increments; and iii) Aspire for More—Seek more data, more analysis, and more “Aha” moments.
Some ideas to to inspire your unique emergence, evolution and change as you constantly strive to stay relevant:
1. Admit That You Are Addicted. You must alter your behavior and methods and not trust that past successes indicate the path to future wins. Balance the consistency needed to measure performance and manage the day-to-day with the imagination required to lead and surpass foes. Leave your orthodoxies and biases behind.
2. Be Purposefully Curious. Always look to discover new “Aha’s” - those moments of clarity when the answers to questions become evident. Don’t aim to fail fast. Learn fast as you experiment and discover your next advantage.
3. Change Your Focus. As the competitive world changes, what is “relevant” changes. It is important to focus but what is much more important to focus on the right thing at the right time. Focus on staying relevant. Warning, this does not mean you should have a strategy De Jour!
4. Plan To Improvise . At all times, remain flexible to choose the most likely path to win. Be prepared to improvise—plan on it. Bet on probabilities and not perceived certainties.
5. Be A Cheetah, A Hog And An Eagle! Be a Hog (a data hog), a Cheetah (quick, calculating, and able to switch directions on the fly, and an Eagle (aware of minute details but capable of seeing the big picture).
6. Be A Millennial. Millennials are a “confident” generation—they expect more, believe they deserve more, and don’t mind changing, switching, and evolving to get what they deserve. To win, be a millennial, seek innovation all the time, believe that you deserve more, be confident that you can get more, be comfortable with technology and change. These millennial characteristics are shared by today’s super star CEOs. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Warren Buffet are millennial. Learn to be a millennial and increase your chance of success.
Sid Mohasseb is author of The Caterpillar’s Edge Book: Don’t Leave Change to Chance! In Business & In Life, Gain the Edge and Beat the Odds, and is a serial entrepreneur, venture investor, adviser, teacher, speaker, author and business thought leader. Sid’s real expertise is in connecting theory and reality and helping people see the bend in the road ahead. Sid has founded and led several early-stage and hyper-growth companies from inception to acquisition. He has served many fortune 500 clients and helped early stage entrepreneurs navigate the competitive waters. He is an adjunct professor at USC’s Marshall Business School.