As the world becomes more interconnected, events outside your industry and career have an impact on your business, your family and your pocketbook. Whatever your daily routine, it takes place in a larger context of social, technological, political, economic and cultural change. To be successful today, you must understand that world. Without that you won't be prepared to innovate; you'll only be able to react and to avoid.
Many people will tell you it doesn't matter how well-informed you are. "You can't do anything about it anyway," goes the refrain, "so why bother to find out about things?" Here's a newspaper editorial that sums up this attitude:
"The world is too big for us. Too much going on, too much crime, violence and change. Try as you will, you get behind in the race. It's an incessant strain to keep pace and still you lose ground. Science empties its discoveries on you so fast that you stagger beneath them in hopeless bewilderment. Everything in business and life is high pressure. Human nature can't endure much more!"
This newspaper editorial reads as if it were written last week. But it actually appeared more than 168 years ago on June 16, 1833 in The Atlantic Journal back in the "good old days!"
How can you avoid becoming a casualty of the "bad new days?" Take the offensive. Instead of "stewing," start "doing." Pay attention to the early warning signs of change. Look for changes in your industry, your family life and your region. You cannot innovate if your understanding of change is misinformed, incomplete or outdated.
Success in the new era is heavily dependent upon innovation, creativity and solving problems for which there are no precedents. While new technology is often the driver of economic and social change, the real opportunities are created by individuals who apply technology in new ways. Fred Smith, operating outside of the airline industry, created Federal Express because he saw the trend of speed in delivery of goods and services.
Your success depends on how well you think. You are not paid to collect, sort, store or retrieve information, although you do these things every day. You are paid to interpret that information and create and implement new ideas. Ask yourself:
• What can I offer that "they" aren't offering? Where's the niche that hasn't been developed? How can I add value to the service or products I promote?
• Where is the market inefficiency? What would make this process more convenient? How can I do this less expensively?
• What would people pay for that isn't available now? Which consumer groups and Internet communities are the most likely prospects who want what I provide? What trends will change my and their assumptions about the quality of life?
Breakthrough ideas often occur when you are calmly searching for opportunities. They rarely occur when you are anxious and frustrated. Close your eyes and dream!
-- Denis Waitley
Denis Waitley has studied, counseled and trained leaders in virtually every field including Apollo astronauts, Olympic gold medalists, Super Bowl champions, returning POW's, heads of state and Fortune 500 top executives.
Denis is recognized as a world class speaker and author and has traveled the globe sharing success ideas and strategies to thousands of companies the past 25 years.