“Strategy is about shaping the future.” One of the opening lines of Dr. MAx Mckeown and opening lines for the whole of Spark.Me. Also, one of the more profound points to understand when starting, progressing, or innovating anything. Mckeown is a strategist and “nowist”. He is a believer in forward movement, and the only way to accomplishing such is by remaining optimistic in the present using circumstances to move toward your future goals.
“Innovation is new ideas made useful.” In a day when the word “innovation is thrown around loosely, it is good to have a structured, practical approach. Innovation is not merely having an idea. Many people have ideas and do nothing. Many stop at “desire insight” where the possibility is seen. However, it remains in pile of untouched potential never coming to fruition. True innovation will see new ideas take shape in useful ways that change how life is lived.
Experience does not equal learning
Common myth in the innovation story is that experience automatically brings learning and progression. However, this is false. Experience only brings learning. Those undergoing the experience must be engaged and draw conclusions for learning to happen. Learning cannot be assumed to happen, but must be actively pursued throughout the process. Engagement in the now brings progress toward future goals.
The future is powered by human desire ===> curiosity
Curiosity and questioning the norm is what moves the human experience forward. People begin to ask questions, challenge the status quo, dream, etc. Curiosity into the world around us should push toward learning much like a child. In doing so, we begin to find solutions to daily challenges, or improvements to daily habits and routines. The human desire to be curious brings what we envision in the future to the now.
Avoid living on bloody awful island
A critical point of Mckeown’s presentation came when he described the different states of people as they approach the present. We can live on an island where everything is “bloody awful,” and nothing can change because present circumstances will not allow them. Some exist in a space where things are slightly better. All is not lost, but still cannot see the way forward. However, those who see the potential, and use the now to their advantage are the ones who will find success. Avoid the “bloody, awful” island.
Be a #Nowist
A “nowist” leverages the moments of today to reach the goals of the future. There is clear direction that cannot be derailed by challenges that popup along life’s journey. They keep moving forward taking advantage of unplanned opportunities. A nowise minimizes regret by doing so.
The question becomes, “Am I acting and living as a “nowist” or thinking too much about the challenges being faced?” Are we truly innovating by making our new ideas useful, or saying, “if only….” What ideas do you have, and how can they be made useful?