Reinvention now!

April 8, 2011

“In today’s environment of superacceleration, catch-up is a fool’s game. There is no advantage in keeping up. Forget about trying to compete. Instead, leapfrog the competition by redefining anything and everything about your business. Look at what the competition is doing—and do something entirely different.”
~Burris and Mann

Whether you know it or want it, you are in the process of reinventing yourself. The idea of reinvention — not just once but continuously, not just personally but organizationally — is now part of the 21st century conversation on success. It goes like this: we have to keep changing, keep learning and keep innovating in order to be relevant and in demand in the marketplace.

I mostly agree, and as a passionate advocate for more creativity in our lives and our culture, I enjoy taking part in this forward-thinking conversation from upstarts such as Change This, an online content source whose mission is to spread new ideas from original thinkers. Its latest issue includes “The Reinvention Imperative” by Daniel Burrus & John David Mann, which compellingly makes the case that it is now an imperative to reinvent ourselves and our businesses in order to keep up in a world where “change itself has changed”:

There are two kinds of change: change from the outside in, and change from the inside out. The first happens to you. The second is an initiative that you take through conscious intention. Today there is an urgent need to anticipate and take the initiative to change from the inside out, even as all these transformations are coming at us from the outside in.

Burrus and Mann make the point that we have to be both proactive and extraordinary, and that real reinvention means getting closer to our own core, our own unique gifts. “The reinvention imperative,” they write, “puts each of us on a quest to be the best me we can be.”

Okay. But let’s stop here. Talk of reinvention sounds cool. And it fits with my blog articles of these past few years and with my creativity competency principles:

>Fluency: Consider all of my possible options and identities
>Flexibility: Shift some things around and see things with fresh eyes
>Originality: Truly embrace my best and most unique self and offer it to the world.

But how do we really reinvent ourselves so that change is not just temporary and the results are real and different? If I’m going to reinvent myself — which I happen to be in the process of doing quite actively — what does that really mean? Does it mean that I have to change my insides first (umm, how?) or that I have to just embrace the core me and put it out in the world more effectively (oh, is that all)?

The truth is, this blogger needs a reinvention, a real one, not just one written on paper or that sounds good. It’s time for me to put the creativity principles and rabble-rousing I’ve recorded in my blog — which holds more than 130 articles that can keep you busy reading and linking and viewing for days — to action.

Time to take the advice of the “Reinvention” authors: to stop trying to keep up and do the same as others and instead do something entirely different.

Time to embrace a belief and identity that forces reinvention and risk-taking.

Time to play by different rules.

Time for a new identity and new belief system that befits a warrior of aliveness.


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