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Disruptive thinking.

Opinion
TECHNOLOGY

WE can’t downplay the power of thinking. Any type of thinking that is slower than the change of times and or technology is dangerous.

Thinking goes beyond what your lecturer taught you to memorize at university, but what he did not teach you. New inventions are still to come.

They are called new, because they have not been taught at school. What we learn in our school system empowers us to be efficient and effective, but there is a need for speed and agility in our thinking.

New tech, new means, new ways are coming and that is happening at breakneck speed. Information technologies seem to be evolving faster than we are able to keep track of, especially in the global south.

Something that is useful today can wake up the next day obsolete and irrelevant. Do you still remember cassettes? Diskettes? Film negatives? The typewriter? The Blackberry phone with a QWERTY keyboard?

These were all great pieces of technology, but they were caught flat-footed and were kicked out of the market. They enjoyed the glory of the moment, and the mistake they made was to sit on their laurels for far too long.

This is a fast age, an era of big data, machine learning, automation, and artificial intelligence! In leadership, it gives us lessons. The emerging things are very disruptive but important at the same time.

The disruption destroys old jobs and creates new ones. Some people get rewarded and others are helplessly thrown out of the ship. There is no one to blame really, it’s just the times we are in.

China’s Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group said: “Please tell your children that the world is changing every day and no one is going to wait for you in the past. When lighter was invented, matches slowly disappeared. When the calculator was created, abacus was to fade away. When digital camera was designed, the market of negative film no longer existed. When direct market selling/internet-based selling arises, traditional marketing declines. When smartphone with 4G (wireless internet access) was introduced to the world, you no longer need to turn on your computer at home. When WeChat and WhatsApp (mobile text/voice/video messaging) are developed, traditional text messaging is no longer as popular as before. Let’s not blame ‘Who took over Whose business’. It’s only because people are more adjustable and adaptable to new ideas and changes in the world.”

The world is changing and it never waits for any one. It’s either you are watching others work and you are a mere recipient and helplessly following the change.

The late Peter Drucker pointed out correctly when he said this is an era of the three Cs — accelerated change, overwhelming complexity, and tremendous competition. It’s either you are part of the game, out of the game or bitten by the game.

Ideas

This is a time we need transformational and trans-generational thinkers. A leader should lead in new ideas. Thinking is not the mental activity which happens with everyone, but the inventiveness.

Creativity

The word “Creative” is derived from the word “create”. It relates to the use of imagination to create something.

Traditional leadership has been seen as being the top guy in an institute. But a true leader is someone who is creative or able to motivate team players to think above the set standards.

Let’s take stock as leaders; what new things have you brought to your company, church, country and community?

Disruptive

Being disruptive is being hungry to see and making change happen. It’s a state of being unsatisfied with the status quo. Some would think it’s fighting with the status quo or being fought against. Hence, the reason for seeing a threat when the ‘led’ seems to be better than the “leader”.

Competition

Competition is fierce. Average performance is just as dangerous today.  Being in a competition without the full knowledge about the rules of the game is even more dangerous.

Change

When change is taking place, no one can stop it. Yes, people might speak evil against it as a way of not wanting to embrace it. At times, change brings pain.

Remember, when we go through problems, it’s not how painful it was, but who you become at the end. It might be hard to bring change.

People are going to talk you down. Your family is going to deny you, but keep rocking. As you try to improve what you found, you face so much opposition.

At times life hits you hard. It hurts! Life was never meant to be given on a silver platter. Your life is yours; you are in charge, just change.

You might be down now, but that does not mean your end. You are bigger than your hardships. Hardships give in to people that have grit to grind those hardships.

New leaders

Do you know that at times, to our surprise, the so-called rebels of our time are swiftly becoming our leaders? Why?

They have an intuition to see more than an ordinary person and as a result they oppose the current state of affairs and risk doing the new thing.

As you are leading people, it is very important to spot people that are ready to embrace and bring change.

At times you might be the top person but you have to be willing to work with ideas that other people have brought. In the end, people will think it’s your idea.

At times leaders don’t have to invent anything, but should be able to appreciate the power that other people have and use it to the benefit of their institute.

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