As we are growing our platform together–now more than 15,000 people – wherever you join us watching our videos, whether you are in Croatia, South Africa (surprisingly the second country with most views to our videos after the US), whether you are in Israel, India, Ghana, or Argentina, warm hello to all of you, fellow Chief Reinvention Officers!
On this turn, we are celebrating fall, as for me – nature is the original reinventor. Each turn as fall sheds its leaves, it makes me think about things letting go. Thinking about what is no longer serving me, what needs to go away, release, shed, be left behind, but also thinking – what stays? The interesting question of reinvention is not what to change, but what to keep? And it is in this sense that fall season reminds that there are choices we are to make, that it is okay to let go. Then, as we let go in the fall, some new flowers are about to grow in spring.
Today’s topic is coming from a real-life situation. A few weeks ago, I was working with a young start-up, just a few years old, but already widely successful, profitable for many years and growing. And I spent few days with them, with the whole team, thinking how to reinvent their company, how to position the company, which is THE huge issue today.
Every time we reinvent, we combine things that have not been combined before. We are doing something unique. And the moment we do something unique, we need to explain to the world what it is. That is positioning, finding a position in the marketplace that is unique, then claiming it.
And here is the question I wanted to share about. As we are talking together with the team–what is the position of the company and how can it claim their own spot on the market–I felt there was a little bit of hesitation, and I said, “Guys, you should stop apologizing for the unique, amazing things you do.” Which is when one of the team members says: “Hold on a second. Let’s not move on that subject. Can you double-click on this subject of apologizing and not apologizing? What do you really mean when you say do not apologize?”
So, I want to share this conversation with you, as I felt at the end of it, that as much as it was a reminder to me personally, as I have fallen into the same traps as did this wonderful young start-up team, that–it is probably the same relevance to you. Do not apologize for the amazing new things you bring to the world.
So what does it precisely means? Reinvention naturally brings a new reality, new mood, new opportunity, the something unusual combined together. We faced the same thing as we started our agency and when we were thinking how to position ourselves. We are not exactly strategy consulting because we also do execution. We are not exactly just a traditional kind of analytics – we also do a lot of design and creative work. We are not exactly advisors too because we are hands on.
So we eventually came up with the idea that we are a reinvention agency. Reinvention is what we do, and agency represents our commitment, to not only recommend, advice but to actually act – we are agents of change, agents of reinvention.
However, in the beginning, I felt a little bit apologetic about it, about what we do. I was almost like every time saying, Oh, we are not exactly this… and even at the tone of voice I was apologetic… We are not exactly that. And this time I was working for this young startup team I also felt they were apologizing – they are also a mixture of things, but that’s what makes them so creative.
They reminded me very much of the Pharrell Williams company which is a collaborative company called i am OTHER. Or the amazing creative work of the Atom Factory – this is an organization that originally managed Lady Gaga and since then started many ventures. And it is hard to place them into one box. They are not exactly just entertainment, and they are not exactly just strategy, nor only manufacturing – they are something unique. But the amazing thing about uniqueness is that it does not stand apologies.
So, the question for you and me: Are we apologizing when it is completely unnecessary? Are we afraid to claim our unique stands and claim our unique position? This is the message I wanted to bring to this amazing team and that is the message I also want to bring to you: ask yourself – is there a place where you are apologizing for what you do, for your unique strengths and unique approach? Is there a general sense of… maybe I shouldn’t be doing that, or maybe it is too little hard to understand. Stop apologizing.
Grab your space. Grab your position. Grab your uniqueness and take a full comfortable stance on it. That is what the world needs right now. It doesn’t need any apologies. It needs a lot of courage. It needs a lot of centeredness, to center yourself in your work. Center yourself in your product. Center yourself in your position. Center in who you are, in your career, in your unique offer to the world. And do not apologize. You have nothing to apologize for.
So our challenge for you today: Ask yourself, is there a place where I am apologizing, but where no apologizing is necessary. Is there a place that I need to claim as my own? With absolutely nothing to be apologetic about?
If you have a comment, if you have an interesting situation, perhaps an example of a company that is apologetic about its unique offer – shoot us a comment under this video or send us an e-mail. And don’t forget: subscribe to our email list if you haven’t done already, find us on Facebook – Chief Reinvention Officer, follow on Twitter, we are also growing on Instagram, and finally connect on LinkedIn.
We are excited to see you as a part of our growing community and remember: you have nothing to apologize for.