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If you want a place in the future, be part of it

November 3, 2010 82 Comments

Image Credit: Postworthy

I’m writing this blog post as someone who, perhaps like you, is trying to make sense of their own industry as it transitions in the face of emerging digital and special technology. Traditionally no matter what career you were in, your credentials were built on your portfolio of work. In short, the things you had done in the past. Those days are over.

In my experience potential clients and colleagues are not looking to what you have done, but to how you are shaping the future. This is critical because it forces us to change how we see our jobs, our daily work and how we measure our success.

Gone are the days when we can post a portfolio of work online and wait for clients to come and find us. Gone are the days when we could trade on pre-existing relationships because every industry is reconstituting itself and cultivating new business partners. Gone are the days when reputation alone afforded security because our the marketplace has no time to look back.

Instead, to attract attention, clients or projects, we must each position ourselves as one of those people who are moving their industry forward, that are pushing the boundaries of known practices, that are serving as sign posts for the future.

This means individual consultants, directors, designers, artists, and advertising creatives must raise the profile of their own brands to create a gravitational force of their own. This means companies and brands must elevate innovation to an even higher priority, take risks to a greater degree and celebrate failure more frequently. The bottom line is that marketplace is becoming increasingly fluid institutionalizing instability.

Ironically, there is no better environment for a creative person. But its tough to be courageous in this economy. Yet no matter whether the economy improves or not, the pace and diversity of technological change will necessitate the same appetite for risk. We must all put our best and bravest foot forward. The only way to make sure you have a place in the future is to create it.

Do you agree that emerging technology is changing our roles faster than before? Or do you believe the more things change the more they stay the same?

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About Simon Mainwaring

We First training and consulting helps the world’s most innovative brands tell the story of the good work they do in ways that build their reputation, employee productivity, sales and social impact.

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