In his latest book, The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation, Josh Linker observes, “Study any supremely successful organization or individual, from Nike to 3M or from Madonna to Tom Hanks, and you’ll encounter a consistent theme: an ethos of reinvention whose principles embody the disruptive mind-set. ” Here are the principles each accompanied by an annotation of mine:
1. Let go of the past: You can’t change any of it but you can learn from it and from what others experienced in the past.
2. Encourage courage: To achieve and then sustain reinvention, it is imperative to have a culture within which principled dissent is encouraged…and rewarded. Moral courage should determine values and behavior; intellectual courage should guide and inform the most difficult decisions.
3. Embrace failure: Great success is almost always the result of hundreds of small, low-risk, setbacks. And a setback is a “failure” only if nothing of value is learned from it.
4. Do the opposite: Always avoid “the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom.” More often than not, as Robert Kriegel suggests, “Sacred cows make the best burgers.”
5. Imagine the possibilities: Peak performers constantly ask “What if? and “Why not?”
6. Put yourself out of business: Both organizations and individuals most constantly reinvent themselves (i.e. what they do and how they do it) or they will become stagnant and obsolete, and eventually disappear.
7. Reject limits: For organizations as well as individuals, limits are almost always self-imposed.
8. Aim beyond: Snack on “low-hanging fruit” but continue to create or discover and control a “feast” of success or become road kill for others who do.
“Taking on these new principles may require you to abandon some ideas you’ve held for years. That’s good. Letting go of deeply held beliefs and venturing into unchartered waters is a difficult task, but it’s an essential one for innovators (and that group includes any company or individual engaged in building ongoing success). Most of us are ill-equipped to meet the challenges we’ll face in next five years…That work requires us to throw away the fear of failure, forget about safety in numbers, and embrace a mind-set of ongoing disruptive change.”
Here’s a direct link to Josh’s website.
Here’s a direct link to my review of his earlier book, Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity.