Daily Inspiration: Innovation Strategies – “Before you are good at something, you’re bad at it. That’s OK. That’s how it’s supposed to work!”


“Before you are good at something, you’re bad at it. That’s OK. That’s how it’s supposed to work!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

Stop chasing perfection. Chase action.

My 10 Great Words Web page and the related document were the subject of a lot of visits yesterday; for some reason, it has met the search engine gods! That’s always fine, because you see a traffic spike and wonder – what brought this on?

Every time this happens, I go back and re-read what I wrote, which was around 20 years ago. My mindset has stood the test of time – it’s actually a great document to get into an innovative and future-oriented state of mind.  Take a look!

One of the words I use is Try, as in:

Try. How many of your people have lost their ability to adapt to changing circumstances because they’ve lost their confidence?

Developing new skills and career capabilities is critical, given the rapid change occurring in every profession.

And yet, too many people have managed to convince themselves that they can’t adapt; they can’t change; they can’t master the new realities that surround them.

They’ve lost their self-confidence, and they desperately need it back.

Solve this problem fast.

I really like the word Try, because it implies action, moving forward, chasing goals, pursuing knowledge, and finding solutions. It’s never a good thing to hold yourself from moving forward, because that’s how you begin to slide back. And that, of course, is why you need to get over the paranoia, concern, worry, and fear that comes from doing so. The easiest thing in the world is to remain stuck, in a static mindset, clinging to your comfort zone like a security blanket.

And it’s when you Try that magical things begin to happen. You won’t get it right the first time but can come to realize that you might eventually get it right. You won’t know what you are doing right off the bat, but clarity will start to emerge as you continue to iterate your iterations. Your knowledge will be pretty low when you begin but ti will only improve the more you keep going at whatever it is you are going at. Your insight will be fuzzy when you begin but you will begin to achieve clarity when you can visualize each successive step along your path. And that’s where the idea that “before you are good at something, you’ll be bad at it.” Because “that’s OK. That’s how moving forward and innovation is supposed to work!”

I can directly relate the word Try to the event bookings that are confirmed right now. Each week, I’m getting some 10-20 inquiries to speak at a conference, association event, or CEO/CxO internal leadership meeting. All of the inquiries seem to have a sense of urgency around them – ‘we need to align ourselves to this faster future!‘ – goes the refrain. And yet, few actually move forward. Many involve situations in which people are kicking the can, exploring the options, and studying potential paths forward. Some lead to exploratory phone calls or Zoom sessions – the client representative seems eager to figure explore what I can do and how I can help them.

And in many of these situations, I can instantly tell which ones are going ahead and which ones are not – because I’ve come to the point of knowing whether the organization really seems eager to TRY to do something – or seems to be stuck and immobile. It’s in the way they frame the issues, outline their concerns, and provide details on the issues at hand – I can tell if they seem to be willing to TRY to move forward. Their mindset flows through every single word and through every single sentence. Action is at hand because they are willing to TRY to do what needs to be done to align with tomorrow.

Too many organizations and leadership teams chase failure by not acting – it’s the organizations that achieve failure by acting that has the upper hand. Simply because they are willing to TRY – knowing that the only way to get good at something is to try it, do it, and try it again.






THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.