A client was recently sharing with me her frustration with her assistant. She had asked her to do what she thought was a simple task in Microsoft Outlook and she couldn’t do it. My client said “you’ve been here for 21 years and should know how to do it.” The assistant said “you are the first person that has asked me to think in seven years.” Well, I could already see my fingers feverishly tapping on my laptop this priceless quote. It was totally Déjà vu – Been there…Done that! However, where’s the Vuja de?
In an era of significant global competition with the BRICA nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Africa), there is no room for being an anemic thinker. In a study by McKinsey & Company over a decade, the total market capitalization of the largest 150 companies grew 11% per year. However, the top 30 companies experienced a 22% increase in market capitalization and net income. What drove the results for the top 30 was the value of thinking–intensive workers. These are men and women who found a way to expand their knowledge bandwidth and thought differently about their work as a career to build instead of job to have.
A thinking-intensive individual is constantly scanning the environment to see where things are headed. They have a knack for reading the tea leaves of the times and thinking like a poker strategist. People who don’t think become robotic in their execution. People who do think ask “why are we doing this and is there a better way?” People who don’t think are waiting to be told what to do. People who do think just make it happen.
Here are three additional tips…
The person that “knows how” will have a job and the person that “knows why” will be the boss. If you intend to think differently, then you need to know how and why.
Develop thyself. Set aside time every week to learn, polish, discover or reaffirm what you already know. You are being invited to grow at the speed of change.
Be intentional in developing your network beyond what it is today. Your contacts and tentacles need to reach beyond your current place of business. Cross-pollinate with other areas, it may just surprise you. That’s why I have spoken at nine luxury wedding summits. This $75 billion dollar industry has expanded my thinking and understanding about how to create a brand.