Hello Disruption ! Let’s talk about ideas, conviction and perseverance
Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog
Innovation, Leadership and career planning are, perhaps, by far the most discussed and written about topics in popular business press and management academia. The last decade has witnessed more disruption and changes in all three areas than perhaps in the many preceding decades put together. It seems worthwhile to examine the causes, drivers and cull out any common threads that might run across all three.
The very nature of tech evolution has lent a new meaning to the word democratization. With the availability barriers of technology infra, tools, skills, knowledge and the ecosystem getting reduced – much to the credit of technology itself ! – the key residual requirements for innovation are : ideas, conviction and perseverance !
Consequently, we find most of the impactfull innovation (Facebook, Google, WA, YouTube etc ) in the last 10-15 years not coming from established tech companies – i.e traditional big tech – but scaling out from entrepreneurs’ dorms. Thus a disproportionate % of market cap is commanded by such new age ideas and companies, dwarfing the traditional giants.
Traditional definition of leadership cannot be applied in this era of hyper speed innovation, scaling and impact.
A sailor friend of mine has returned home due to covid 19. A professional chef, he thought of starting a differentiated home delivery food service and took under three weeks from ideation to the first order delivery. Two months into the business, he is doing fine and scaling up fast ! Strangely, he has no army of followers waiting to be lead – he is championing his own idea, learning by the day and influencing others along the way. The new leaders are actually champions of an idea, a higher cause or an ideal. And it is not easy to transition from a hierarchical organisation to a championing style leadership – with no retinue of middle managers and support teams to make the leader look good.
So what’s up on traditional career planing as we know it ? With the forces of democratization (of innovation) and championing type leadership, the speed of business and disruption are on steroids. Long range career planing is just mind games since no one knows what the next five years might unravel. The key thus is to understand and surf the forces of change and demand-supply. Surfing instead of planning might be a much better approach to crafting a successful and satisfying career. Picking the foundational and differentiated skills and refreshing them every few years while having an eye for the opportunities to add maximum value is the way to go. Money follows.
In summary, democratization of innovation, championing style leadership and surfing the options for career enhancement are the keywords for the future, which is already upon us.