How to leverage chaos as a competitive advantage

Apr 13, 2021

There is no debate.

The world is changing so fast and disruption is all around. Does that feel like a threat? Why not use chaos as a competitive advantage, instead? How can we turn crisis into a resource?

These are the topics we covered in the most recent episode of the #WorkTrends podcast - starting with one key question.

What is chaos?

I believe that to conquer chaos, you must first understand what it is. And here is my take on this difficult issue: chaos is not an absence of order. It's a presence of more than one order.

Now, what is your relationship with chaos? Hit "reply" and let me know your greatest take-away from this podcast - and the questions you want me to answer in the future.

Can't wait to hear your response.

 

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Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva helps companies such as Coca-Cola, Kohler, and IBM turn change and disruption into an opportunity.

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Call me

Apr 02, 2021

Here is the deal: it’s not that easy to surprise me.

No, I have not seen everything there is to see on Planet Earth. 

I have never been to Australia.
I was spared from war and violence.
I don’t know what dragon fruit tastes like (to be honest, it kind of freaks me out).

But after living on three continents in two different political systems, working with countless organizations doing what I do, getting me genuinely amazed is not an easy task.


However, when the Managing Director of a successful 14-year-old consulting company announced that he quit and took on a whole new never-before role barely 2 weeks into our reinvention course, I was seriously surprised:



What surprised me was not the intellectual reasoning behind this decision. After all, I have been championing
 the idea that every organization needs a Chief Reinvention Officer for a good half-of-a-decade.

[My logic is simple: many years ago when the speed of change was bearable, when the volatility and...

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We are not stupid. Nor scared. We are just tired.

Mar 26, 2021

How's your 2021 going so far?

For me, it's an intense calendar-is-double-booked kind of start of the year, filled with speaking, facilitating, and consulting.

But wherever I turn lately, wherever I speak on reinvention, or work with a company on their turn-around, I get the same question...


"How do we deal | combat | prevent | address | handle resistance to change?"

I got it two times today - once while teaching an introduction to reinvention and then again looking at advanced reinvention projects with the current and future Certified Reinvention Practitioners.

There is no one answer to this question - there are many custom-made answers for many different reasons why people resist change.

 

So, the first thing to do is to assess why people resist change in the first place - in your company or at your client organization.

Not long ago, we ran a short poll asking people what is the number 1 reason people resist change in their companies.

We gave 5 options:

1. The...

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The new game in town?

Mar 19, 2021

What a week!

It looks like we are finally getting through with mainstream business thinking about the power and the essential nature of reinvention. 

First, we got featured in Forbes (say what?!) - which has unceremoniously announced that "Reinvention is THE new game in town":


 

What is so important and monumental is that this mainstream publication finally gets the key point we are trying to drive home for some time now - that volatility is here to stay and change can no longer be treated as a one-time project: 

"Executives in such businesses seeking to improve their chances of survival might do well to study a timely new book by self-styled 'chief reinvention officer' Nadya Zhexembayeva. “How To Thrive In Chaos” is an easily-accessible, large-format book that is subtitled “The chief reinvention officer handbook” and as such is filled with lessons and steps to take to embrace success in an era of change. But perhaps the...

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He said what?!?

Mar 12, 2021

It happens to nearly every generation.

Professions disappear, skills become irrelevant, entire industries grow obsolete (remember, just a few generations ago jobs such as an "elevator operator," a "human computer," and a "town crier" were a real thing).

Yet, it rarely happens as fast and furious as it's happening now. 

This Oxford University study suggests that about 47% of jobs in the US alone will disappear due to automation. Gartner research shows that organizations are now listing about 33% more skills on job ads in 2020 than they did in 2017. The Financial Times suggests we should plan for fiver careers (not jobs, full on careers!) in our lifetime, adding a powerful punchline "Work is impermanent - reinvention is rational":



The message is clear: reinvent or get out of the game. Yet, how many schools, universities, or Executive Education institutions do you know that are taking this need seriously? 

There are almost none. Reinvention is still a...

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7 lessons I learned from a year of COVID

Mar 05, 2021

It's hard to believe.

Exactly one year ago, I packed my bag and took a flight to San Francisco for our annual Silicon Valley "let's find the new trends and disruptions before they happen" trip.

Look at me, all smiley at the Plug&Play corporate innovation-meet-start-ups tech center.... not a single mask in sight.


It's been one year. No way. What a year.

Since then we learned a lot. We cried, we laughed, we discovered a ton of songs to sing for 20 seconds while washing our hands. We adapted.

 

So, it feels like it is crucial for us to pause, take a moment, and capture the enormity of what we lived through and the strength of what we learned.

I will start sharing my lessons here - and invite you to join. If you're part of our private Facebook group, share your lessons here.

 In no particular order, what I learned from the year of COVID-19 so far:

 

LESSON #1: Life is more fragile than we are ready to admit. What we think of as solid and sure and...

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3 secrets of future-proofing your company

Feb 26, 2021

I am not gonna lie: this week I've been completely consumed by our 500-participant Easy Reinvention Lab.

This is the first time we are running this free, live 5-day event  - but boy is it bringing big breakthroughs for people already:


 The Lab is wrapping up tomorrow at 12 noon - but there is still time for you to get some of the same benefits.

OPTION 1: sign up for the Lab today to get all the replays and the workbook (you have until the end of Tuesday, March 2nd to catch up and then all the replays disappear):

REGISTER FOR THE LAB

 

OPTION 2: join us live on Zoom for a catch-up session on the "3 secrets of future-proofing your company (and your career)" - which will take place on Monday, March 1st, 12 -1 pm US EST:

ADD TO YOUR CALENDAR

 

Our mission is to bring reinvention skills to 1 billion people - so that we can all learn to ride the waves of change, rather than get crushed by them.

I think this week is one of the...

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What makes something alive?

Feb 19, 2021

What makes something alive?

Why do some companies (careers, communities, even entire companies) thrive - while others disappear?

How can we choose to stay alive in business (and beyond) - rather than be victims of our competitors, regulators, suppliers, customer deselections, and beyond?

What can business learn about survival from spiders, dolphins, and trees?


These and many other questions got answered in a new podcast episode recorded for a wonderful "Getting Work to Work" show:

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I hope you'll get some new ideas for your organization and career - and a few good laughs. 

It is one of the most honest and relaxed conversations I had on a podcast and the very first question asked blew me away - I wonder what you'd be your answer...


P.S. On Monday our free live 5-day Easy Reinvention Lab starts - and it's not too late to join.

To make sure you get our amazing workbook (a blend of our own tools with the Blue Ocean Strategy, design thinking, and much more) and be on top...

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I can barely hold the excitement

Feb 12, 2021

I think we can all agree on one thing: we are living in the year of massive change.

The pandemic is still raging, the economy is volatile, and our daily lives are disrupted in a way we could not imagine even a year ago.

So, if change is all around us, when it's literally staring into our faces, why is it so hard to change?

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My answer is simple: we are all born good at change. We are all native reinventors. But we are simply educated out of it.

So, it's time to take our reinvention powers back.

All we need is practice. Just like a muscle, reinvention skills grow when we give ourselves a little bit of time to lift some weights, do some exercises, stretch a bit.

And when the first results come, they give us energy to keep going.
 


And that's why I am SO excited to share this amazing opportunity to help you grow your reinvention muscles!



From February 22nd to 26th we'll be hosting a free 5-day reinvention experience - complete with live sessions...

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How did this Ohio company beat global powerhouses?

Feb 05, 2021

 I love love love a good business reinvention story.

You can find many of them in the fancy magazines. Yet, most seem to feature big untouchable companies far far away (think Tesla, Apple, Stripe).

But what about the "normal" businesses we can actually relate to?

 

The reinvention of PENZONE is exactly that kind of story.

At the time of its founding in 1969, PENZONE was a contemporary to some of corporate America’s most powerful titans. Take, for example, RCA. In the year of PENZONE’s incorporation, RCA appeared on the Fortune 500 list as 20.

A giant in electronics, radio equipment, marine, and international communications. When General Electric acquired RCA in 1986, most of its assets were liquidated.

The year 1969 was also great at Pan American World Airways, known to most as Pan Am. Advertised with the slogan “The World’s Most Experienced Airline,” Pan Am had 150 jets flying to 86 countries on every continent except...

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