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Brave new world calls for finding one’s groove rather than copy-paste

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By WALE AKINYEMI

Last week I discussed the changing times and how people stuck in the past can never capture the future. One of the legacies of Covid is that a lot of what we knew was disrupted, leaving us with new realities.

The good news, however, is that there is always a way. How, then, does one go about creating a competitive business? The Bible says God found a unique way to attract the attention of Moses in order to free the Israelites from Egypt. He did something out of the ordinary and confronted Moses with a burning bush that did not diminish in the flame.

Likewise, in the process of recreation of self you must find your edge.

No two sunrises or sunsets are the same. That is why each is spectacular.

Similarly, your greatest strengths, therefore, will not be how similar you are to others but how different.

If you do not ask the right questions, you will not get the right answers; therefore, you will not be executing the right strategy.

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The key questions concerning recreation right now are: Where lies my brilliance? My uniqueness? My 20 percent based on the 80/20 principle? The 80/20 principle states that 20 percent of what we engage in produces 80 percent of our results.

This is true of 20 percent of products accounting for 80 percent of sales, or wearing 20 percent of your clothes 80 percent of the time and 20 percent of your carpet experiences 80 percent of wear and tear.

Only when these key questions on recreation have been answered can we move to the next level. Unfortunately, in our highly copycat society, once a person breaks through in an area, multitudes flock there. This mob mentality costs so much in resources lost due to copying or blind benchmarking.

Runaway success

The ability to detach from yesterday’s success is one of the key factors of sustainable success. An example of innovative thinking is Sweden’s waste-to-energy programme, considered one of the most successful as only four percent of garbage makes it to landfills.

The rest is used to generate electricity to power homes and businesses. So successful was it that in 2012, there was a major crisis when they ran out of garbage. The nation of under 10 million began to import garbage. Makes one wonder about Africa’s potential given the volume of garbage she generates daily.

However, if all Africa does is copy others’ successes, she can never break through into what can be. The key, therefore, to breaking through is a mindset open to new things.

When we do our SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analyses, we often times fail to address the greatest threat of all: Success. It is easier for a person to move from zero to good than it is to move from good to great. That is why the classic book by Jim Collins titled Good to Great is still a bestseller for leaders’ years after print.

Identify the 20 percent that creates the 80 percent of your results, then engage your mind in different levels of in – novation, beginning with product innovation. What products can we deliver that maximise our brilliance, that utilises our 20 percent? Ponder these on the macro or micro level, for the next level of assignment I will give you. To be continued.

Wale Akinyemi is the convenor of the Street University (www.thestreetuniversity.com) and the chief transformation officer at PowerTalks; [email protected]



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