Leap beyond limits: How you size up this opportunity and sustain that mindset is crucial personally and organizationally

By: Bill Van Eron Friday September 22, 2017 0 comments Tags: Bill Van Eron


By Bill Van Eron

Value Creation Systems Strategist

Headwaters Marketing & Innovation

Playing the game as it was defined:

  1. We start out our professional lives trying to measure up to standards of excellence and leadership.
  2. If we are lucky, those standards at work are harmonious with standards we seek in our lives outside of work.

Playing the game as you may now define it:

  1. If you understand the value tenets driving change and add those skills to your company’s core strengths as a champion, you can raise the bar while adding vital new skills that you define, drive and markets validate.
  2. Positioning yourself as ahead of the change curve and focusing on how that helps your organization to stay relevant and vital, is also one of the best ways to energize your career roadmap.

Are you ready for this personally? You should ask some of the following questions:

  1. Do I love my current job with regard to feeling nicely challenged, inspired, enabled and rewarded?
  2. Are you naturally curious, open to outside stimulus, appreciative of others and a continuous learner?
  3. How is this exponential rate of change going to affect my work categorically and personally?
  4. What can I do and where can I go to improve my longer term competencies and become vital sooner?
  5. What is it that I don’t know now that I could master and grow my own capacity to make a difference?

If you are struggling to answer any of these questions with a resoundingly positive conviction, you are in the majority. What else should you factor in as you try to re-energize your career journey?

  1. Do you want to refine your skills as relevant to one specific industry or have cross over skills that may apply to several or many?
  2. What really gets you excited about work? Is it being on a performance team, enabling that team or doing meaningful work that benefits others?
  3. How would you feel if change and technology obsoleted what you do entirely?
  4. What is it that your company fails to pay attention to that has only increased in negative impact to your company and employees?
  5. How would you feel to instead be among the first riding that growing wave of value and need that transforms your work, business and teams into passionate, enabled people and as a sustainable future strength?

These are some of the questions I asked myself before leaving my own comfort zones (or status quo) to learn, apply and quadruple my impact as well as my team’s impact. I hope you are asking the same.

Back then, there were enablers for me but they were not obvious. The company culture encouraged MBO (Management By Objective) which had only a little room, but just enough to be creative and insightful. It required some courage.

Today, while more theoretical thought leaders are present to augment your own instincts on what’s possible, it still takes some courage to believe in and challenge yourself. Welcome all input with a discerning mind about the values behind your own idea and how your market could see it.

The good news is your market demands it and most organizations are failing to factor the value tenets driving change into actions that align the people and company with it. So a great time to be a champion.

How do we think beyond the limits?

One of the first things we need to understand are the causes of the limits.

  1. Are we imposing them on ourselves?
  2. Do we shape friendships that are too conservative for anything new to get constructive feedback?
  3. Is there undue pressure to maintain the status quo versus challenging it when we can do better?
  4. Is your entire industry suffering an innovation or relevance sameness? What could be better?
  5. Do your managers above feel as invested in employee inclusion, leadership from within, or customer insight, experience and value as you believe they need to be? How can you earn their trust to lead change in some way that adds a higher business impact?
  6. Do your functions all have differing siloed priorities, poor alignment and a low emotional stake in success? Or are they enabled to challenge the status quo, think beyond the internal culture, inspire alignment to external values and become an interdependent team?

The key skills I recommend and have applied come from a deep creative rooting and possibility thinking skills. But when connected to critical and systems thinking skills, this becomes an awesome  force for value, inspired teams, revenue growth, now as a system-worthy solution.

The final part of this self and organizational diagnosis is to understand where you can get help and why traditional sources fail to have effective answers.

I know and value some great people that offer general business or leadership guidance or marketing and design. Incubators are full of them. But where most are still pushing methods that worked before all these changes took root, and that are limited, thus short of the requirements of a more demanding market, I have to say “keep on looking”.

While some skills may seem immune to change, I.E., doctors, or engineers, they are fast finding out that their skills have a higher interdependency to now enable soft skills, market insight, trust, credibility, and empathy, innovation, a more open culture, much that they pretty much have ignored for decades.

Good luck out there, but remember we are at a time that beckons unprecedented innovation and a Weconomy that rewards success. This affects just about everyone.

Bill Van Eron

About the Author: Bill Van Eron

Bill Van Eron, founder of Headwaters Marketing & Innovation, has an extensive design-rooted career that naturally evolved to a still rare, yet high-impact conscious design mindset that finds and transfers greater value to actions across business, life and community. These skills & systems thinking come to life when we immerse in a range of customer-facing and influencer-facing environments. Far greater possibilities are clarified to the benefit of leadership, vision innovation, inclusion, trust and relevance. As always, I focus my time on enabling others to achieve greater success across realms most businesses miss, yet profit by. Not about me, about an enabled we. Let’s start the dialog (970 221-0751, https://www.linkedin.com/in/bill-van-eron/  [email protected]).