Adversity can seed innovation. The boldest ideas come from those who have nothing to lose. How can we avoid being spoiled by success and infuse a "fresh start" mentality into our everyday thinking?
I recently re-read two favorite books (new thinking doesn't require a 2007 press date) that provide a blueprint for taking bold, yet calculated risks: Working Identity and Seeing What's Next.
Reinventing ourselves could be the most difficult re-positioning exercise of all. Especially if we're successful. What a great paradigm for reinventing the successful business. Established careers rest on strong foundations. Skills, CVs, career networks, personal networks, industry knowledge all serve to keep us on the same track. Any effort we exert helps us go faster and farther in the same direction.
But what if we want to switch tracks? We often lack the infrastructure to make the change.
In Working Identity -- Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career, Herminia Ibarra addresses the obstacles that success can create -- barriers that discourage us from thinking more broadly about our lives. This is sage advice for business leaders, not just career changers, given the fact that success discourages change.
In Seeing What's Next, Clayton Christensen addresses how successful (read: profitable) business models encourage businesses to pass up new opportunities and emerging markets, and how to create an environment that embraces change without testing the patience of the risk-averse.
We don't have to start from zero, but we can visualize the process of doing so.
Thinking "fresh start" could inspire a crop of fresh ideas.