What’s the one constant today?
What will be the one constant tomorrow?
Even more change.
And it’s a different type of change.
Unexpected, rapid, exponential, messy and chaotic.
Consider the changes that are happening in the way we work for example.
Going to an office for 5 days a week is so yesterday.
Working 9 to 5 or 40 hours a week is up for grabs.
Face to face meetings, presentations or reviews are optional.
Dress can be informal depending on the time of day and where you are working.
And consider the flexibility of knowing in most organisations that you can work from home, at the office or in a cafe.
Its sudden, dramatic change on a large scale.
This begs the question – what is the best way to succeed in such an environment?
There can be many paths but one way to flourish is to develop your switch thinking skills.
I call it the ultimate future skill.
1. It’s the ability to switch between two (often contradictory) concepts, states or modes
2. The ability to connect these two concepts, states or modes to create something new.
In short, it’s the ability to switch and connect ( Note – I am using ability and skill interchangeably).
Let’s take these one at a time.
Switch between two concepts, modes or states.
For example, in a changing world the idea of sticking to one way of thinking or one way of operating is an out-dated and potentially rigid idea.
You need to be able to switch between critical and creative thinking for example.
Between linear and non-linear approaches.
And switch between convergent and divergent strategies.
Being able to switch gives you maximum flexibility and agility to adapt to a changing environment.
Much like at a gym for example when you might switch between say an exercise bike and a rowing machine.
It will depend on your goals and needs at the time.
Not only do you need to be able to switch between concepts or thinking boxes but you can also connect these to (often) create new growth opportunities.
For example; Patagonia the clothing company has connected Profit and Purpose to carve out an impressive brand image.
In a world that is constantly changing you can feel overwhelmed.
But you and your team can flourish.
But you need to let go of rigid ways of thinking, feeling and behaving and embrace the idea of switching and connecting.
It’s the ultimate future skill.