I just bought a book titled The Upside of Down – Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization by Thomas Homer-Dixon. In it he makes the case that there is a very positive and creative opportunity inside every down cycle we have experienced in our history and, if we look for it, times like the present can be one of the best opportunities for innovation.
I personally am choosing to adopt this view. I am listening less to news and focusing more on what I see as possible and what I want to stand for and bring into this world. This is why Co-ignite has taken such a leap forward in the past few months. I see it as a way that we can all help each other bring and unprecedented spirit of innovation and creativity to our lives.
We all have a lot to learn at many levels in order to reinvent ourselves, our communities, and our businesses into something that will be sustainable in this new era that is now emerging. Co-ignite is a place where we can come together whenever it fits in our busy lives to get the support, the camaraderie, and the practical learning required to adapt to a new future.
What is it that helps you stay positive and innovative while we are all being challenged to learn new ways of living? Share them with me, this community, and your own networks of friends and family. This spark of optimism and innovation is where our new future is being born.
I have been talking with a lot of people recently and boldly sharing my sense that:
- There is a fundamental shift in our world going on.
- A new era is being born – right now in front of our eyes.
- We probably won’t be going back to the way of life we had just a few years ago.
- The rules for personal and business success have changed dramatically.
- Maybe the age-old strategy of creating a resume and looking for a job just like the one you had previously may no longer be the right strategy.
As I have shared these seemingly shocking observations and questions I have been surprised at the almost unanimous nodding heads of agreement. Not a single person has argued with me. No one has told me I was off base. It is as if most of us already know deep inside of ourselves that this is true even if it isn’t generally talked about.
Yet what do we do? Where do we go to learn the skills we are going to need in this new era where we probably will continue not to know what the world will be like a year into the future? Do we go back to school to learn these new skills? Traditional schools, colleges, and universities have been very good at collecting and giving us the subject knowledge and theories that have been found to be useful by offering us informational lectures and testing us whether we remember what we have been told. But, with few exceptions, traditional schools at any level have not really focused on helping to develop a student’s ability to:
- Find the inner compass of their inner purpose.
- Define their contribution toward a collective vision of the future we want to make for ourselves as a community, country, and world.
- Create an adaptable plan that keeps them on their path toward their life’s purpose and goals.
- Identify what they need to learn to become the person they most want to be.
- Execute their plan in collaboration with others
- Adapt to the change we know is coming. (This is the only thing we do know about our future!)
Have you heard your customers tell you that they can no longer use your services because of the economy? Do they politely tell you that they love what you do, would still recommend you to others, and they will return as soon as they have the money again? This is one of the warning signs that you are positioning yourself too high for where your market is right now.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
Do you remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? His model offers a way of understand how people are coping in our present economy and how you can adjust and adapt to meet their current needs. In Maslow’s Hierarchy, a human being is able to address higher needs only after the needs of lower stages have been satisfied. The levels of needs in Maslow’s model are:
What has happened in our economy over the past few months has moved most people from higher levels on this model down to the level of Safety. As a result, if your product or service is not absolutely essential to your customers’ survival they will view you as a luxury and will choose to stop buying from you. It’s that simple.