As the most successful high-tech enterprises and executives are aware, getting ahead in today’s fast-paced business world requires a completely different mindset than in the past — specifically, one in which working professionals and organizations have to be vastly more flexible, agile, and creative when it comes to problem-solving. Following are seven simple ways anyone can adapt to any changes or challenges they’ll face in highly-disruptive environments – and how to be more successful and productive in light of (or spite of) these adjustments:
1 Time, effort and energy are all finite resources, so every decision comes with two costs attached: opportunity and financial. Be sure to factor in both before deciding which opportunities to invest in. Consider whether the trade-off makes sense for you or your enterprise in light of time, bandwidth and potential long-term upsides available – then allocate resources accordingly.
2 Common wisdom says that “busy is good.” In truth, it’s only good if you’re spending this time steadily working toward you or your organization’s goals. When deciding where to focus, concentrate on accomplishing tasks that directly move you or your enterprise further toward accomplishing your stated objectives, and put lower priority on those that don’t.
3 Find ways to win in every scenario. By taking on a new project or client that helps you push your capabilities and creative abilities in new directions, you and your enterprise may gain invaluable new connections, education and experience. Likewise, you may not be able to recognize immediate financial gain by translating that product or process you’ve developed into a successful consumer product overnight, but you may be able to leverage it to drive massive time and cost savings inside your organization, improve ongoing processes, or lay the groundwork for more successful reimaginings or re-positionings of this technology.
4 Put less priority on instant gratification and more on long-term gain. Rather than focus on the here and now, cultivate the tools, talents, products, services, solutions and/or resources that will be in demand in the future, or that you need to succeed tomorrow, today. Perhaps taking a lower-ranking or -paying job isn’t such a bad idea if it gets you invaluable training and experience that will be in demand going forward. Maybe spending less time trying to sell more existing products and instead focusing on how you can successfully launch innovative new ones or reimagine and/or repackage previous solutions to speak to new markets is a better investment in your long-term future.
5 Do your homework upfront, gather the best business intelligence possible, and plan accordingly. Then, armed with this knowledge, don’t hesitate to act. Assess the results of your strategies and adjust your tactics and approaches to be more successful based on the feedback you get from the results of your efforts.
6 Don’t be afraid to fail. Think of failure as the price of getting an education: It’s all rright to fail as long as you’re failing quickly and cost-effectively, learning from mistakes, and using the knowledge gained from these efforts to improve future tries. Leading innovators are constantly introducing new products, prototypes and solutions; learning from these efforts; and steadily adjusting and adapting these ventures until they eventually find success.
7 Find yourself dealing with the same issues over and over? There’s probably a larger underlying issue that keeps causing them. Quit curing symptoms and start solving problems: Instead of struggling with side effects over and over, look for the bigger challenge behind them. Cure what ails you once, and be done with it.
Scott Steinberg is a bestselling expert on leadership and innovation, and the author of “Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty.” His website is AKeynoteSpeaker.com.