Recently I have been thinking a lot about reinvention. Reinvention is really the point about how do I make sure I’m being current? How do I make sure I am being relevant in the marketplace? Especially in today’s world where the changes are coming so rapidly in areas of technology, in terms of how companies are operating in the world, reinvention is a really critical part of how we sustain ourselves.
I think reinvention is really around having the ability to shift our thinking, to shift our perspective and part of it may just involve retraining ourselves. I’ve been an independent consultant now for the last 27 years and a question that I get asked, especially by other consultants is how have you kept yourself fresh? I think it’s really about doing things differently. I started off my career in sales and marketing and I went back to school after about 12 years in sales and marketing because I decided to shift my career, my work and it was really forced upon me because there was a recession that we had in Australia and I was unemployed and part of the unemployment process had me looking at my values and core beliefs and what it showed up was teaching and training were just a very deep part of my core.
My parents were teachers, my grandfather was also a teacher so I decided to go back to school to re-educate myself. I think of that as a way of reinvention. My first few early years in the consulting field when I was freelancing were more in the areas of customer service, sales training, sales negotiation because that had been where I had been working. When I started moving into the area of diversity and inclusion based on my thesis, I changed the quality of the work, I reinvented and moved into that area. Then when I moved into cross-culture that again was part of the reinvention. I find that one of the ways that I am keeping myself fresh in my work is really by doing new things. I was just mentioning to someone that the last year I’ve been doing a lot of work in the area of process consulting.
Process consulting is where as a consultant, I bring no content to the client but what I do bring is my ability to help leadership teams have crucial conversations. It’s not about content but it’s actually facilitating crucial and deep conversations within leadership teams. Now, two years ago if you asked me about that, I would’ve said I have no idea I would be working in that area. That’s what keeps us fresh, that helps you reinvent, that gives you different areas of passion and education and it also demonstrates that you are constantly learning. That obviously is really important because we are all going to be living longer and part of living longer is really around how do I extend my thinking and how do I make sure I’m being fresh and being curious about what’s happening in the world?
What are you doing to re-invent yourself on a regular basis? And also, what are you doing to help your teams reinvent themselves in terms of their offerings to the market?