Why You Should Continuously Reinvent Yourself and How to Go About Doing It?

by Vinaya HS on February 12, 2007

in Business & Management

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Here’s another contemporary thought from the Drucker book:

“Knowledge people must take responsibility for their own development and placement.”

In today’s society and organizations, people work increasingly with knowledge, rather than with skill. Knowledge and skill differ in a fundamental characteristic – skills change very, very slowly. Knowledge, however, changes itself. It makes itself obsolete, and very rapidly. A knowledge worker becomes obsolescent if he or she does not go back to school every three or four years.

This not only means that the equipment of learning, of knowledge, of skill, of experience that one acquires early is not sufficient for our present life time and working time. People change over such a long time span. They become different people with different needs, different abilities, different perspectives, and, therefore, with a need to “reinvent themselves.” If you talk of fifty years of working life – and this is going to be increasingly the norm – you have to reinvent yourself. You have to make something different out of yourself, rather than just find a new supply of energy.

This captures in a nutshell what you and I SHOULD be doing for survival in today’s corporate world. Here’s my take on how you could be different from the crowd:

  • Take the risk. Quit your cushy job. Go back to school and re-equip yourself with new knowledge. You don’t how enriching an experience this can be
  • Be “the expert” in one area (or domain, as we normally know it), but be knowledgeable enough to talk about anything under the Sun (a few well-chosen blogs, podcasts, videocasts, and webcasts could be your starting point)
  • The trend in IT hiring is towards people who understand not only the technology but also “the business.” Do you know why your company does the things it does?
  • Gain experience across “business functions” – development, sales, marketing, project management, finance, human resources et al.; take – or even better, create – every opportunity to move across functions
  • Hone your skills in decision making, people management, and effective execution

The ultimate objective: “Always stay ahead of the curve.” It’s a simple statement to read, but immensely difficult to achieve.




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