To succeed or even survive in today’s constantly changing environment, having a great idea is not enough. You need an Agile Mindset and perhaps Kung Fu can help you achieve it.
In an asymmetric competitive environment, a small startup with a disruptive idea may render large companies irrelevant and drive them out of their business. On the other hand, large organizations can gain a significant competitive advantage, if they can use their resources in an effective and efficient way.
Organizations with established working structures need a change of mindset in order to tackle such challenges and take advantage of the opportunities.
On the other side, small startups that just begin to form their culture, have the opportunity to adopt the right mindset from the very start.
Succeeding in today’s competitive business environment requires an Agile Mindset. It is all about embracing and constantly adapting to change, learning to fail fast and early and it is about speed.
If your are transforming a large organization or bootstrapping a small startup you may look and find inspiration in many places, perhaps even in the Kung Fu style of Bruce Lee.
“You know baby, this Bamboo is longer, more flexible, and very much alive … and when your flashy routine cannot keep up with the speed and elusiveness of this thing here, all I can say is you’ll be in deep trouble!”
– Bruce lee, The Death Game
“Don’t make a plan on biting, that is a very good way to loose your teeth … If you try to remember you will loose! Empty your mind be formless,shapeless like water. Now, if you put water into a cup it becomes the cup, if you put it into a teapot, it becomes the tea pot. Now water can flow or creep or drip or crash. Be water my friend!”
– Bruce lee, Long Street TV Series
“Your are not ready. Like everyone else you want to learn the way to win but never gonna accept the way to lose, to accept defeat to learn to die is to be liberated from it, so when tomorrow comes, you must free your ambitious mind and learn the art of dying”
– Bruce lee, Long Street TV Series
A simple model inspired by the „Digital Transformation Model“ by Alain Veuve, to explain the necessity for personal change, in order to keep up with the technological developments.
As new technologies emerge, they are initially adopted by early innovators and gradually by the rest of the majority, transitioning from trends to industry standards. The degree of adoption of new technologies by the industry resembles a wave, it starts slow and then increases rapidly.
The industry is changing and so does the skill-set required from professionals in order for them to remain competitive in the market. The main body of the work force typically reacts with delay on new technologies. As the degree of adoption of new technologies by the industry increases, it reaches a critical point and the work force rapidly transforms to follow the industry’s needs. If the local workforce cannot keep up with the changes, the industry will look for professionals outside the local borders.
Each one of us has a different ability to adapt to change. The personal price we have to pay to keep up with change depends on our personal adaptability and the moment we choose to change. The personal adaptability is the ability to easily adapt to change and varies from person to person. In general, our personal adaptability is not always enough to keep up with the rate at which technological developments are happening and this leads to a personal skills debt. The debt increases by time and if we delay the change too long, it may exceed our ability to transform. The earlier we recognize the need for change, the easier we can manage our personal skills dept. This is a continuous, never ending effort, that requires us to move outside our own comfort zone.
There will always be parts of the workforce that will not follow the market changes. There are various reasons for this, for example because it is more comfortable to keep things as they are and people naturally tend to resist change, or because parts of the workforce do not have access to the means required to achieve the change. Eventually this part of the workforce will be overwhelmed by the developments and will have difficulty remaining competitive.
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