“Learn what is done. Learn why people are doing things the way they are done. Question the linkages and assumptions.” -Max McKeown The Innovation Book
We live in a time and age of incredible access. Access to ideas and thinking on a scale never before beheld or witnessed in our history. A time of immediate and instantaneous access on a global proportion. A fire hose of information, learning, thinking and data that can often overwhelm and disconnect, just as much as it engages and connects.
Unfortunately, many are disconnecting as much for the deconstruction and disruption this connection is causing, as for the vast and overwhelming information overload that accompanies this connection. As much as we romanticize the new, it can be humbling and painful as it undoes the foundations and understandings that we have to come to rely and build our world upon.
A time that is requiring us to aggressively reevaluate our thinking, our understandings, our ideas, what we learn, how we learn, and even who we learn from.
Very often it is less about thinking outside the box, as it is upending the box and starting over. A time to questions our assumptions, constantly. The difficult and often painful part of this process will be the deconstruction necessary to move forward. Or as Max McKeown shares in The Innovation Book, that as you move forward, ”You are prepared to give up old ideas so that you can benefit from new ideas.” Or as he adds, “To make room for new learning, there needs to be space for unlearning.”
It is a process. We begin by first acknowledging that there is new learning and ideas worth pursuing. The new learning requires us to reflect on our current and past ideas to determine next steps in the face of these new learnings and ideas. Which requires us to not only question our assumptions, but to put our self in a constant state of deconstructing and rebuilding. It requires us to become mental architects in this new and connected world. A time when the necessity of weighing our assumptions allows us to move forward and adapt in the deluge of this access. Or as Max McKeown adds, “Letting go of old ideas is about recognizing the relentless need-and opportunity-for adaption.”
Today’s mental architects understand the necessity of deconstructing, questioning, reexamining, and rebuilding, will be necessary to adopt and adapt in this fluid, dynamic, and ever-evolving change world that we’ve created. A time when ‘tried and true’ may no longer serve as the credo it has always been.
“The innovator is able to adapt to ever-shifting consequences-in part because the innovative mind is only loosely committed to any particular method, process or structure. Rejecting any ultimate truth-or fixed answer-allows you to fluidly move to better when you find better.” -Max McKeown The Innovation Book