Thursday, August 10, 2017

Are you Comfortable to be “Different”

A digital professional who is comfortable to be different can release more positive energy to influence the surroundings, dare to ask tough questions, and challenge conventional settings.

Digital is the age of innovation and options. Nowadays, knowledge is only a click away, and digital convenience makes an impact on every aspect of the individual life and business management. The world becomes more diverse, dynamic, but also hyper connected than ever, the stereotypical perceptions or the reductionistic management discipline have to shift for fitting the ever-changing digital era we live in. Digital professionals today must become comfortable with being who they are and be “different.” Every person is unique, no two snowflakes are the same. Compete with uniqueness is more effective than competing for everything. Being real is much more important than being perfect; but what does “real” mean? To what standard, are we being genuine? Daring to start to find an answer to this question enables anybody to lead oneself and possibly others, or simply ask yourself: Are you comfortable to be “Different”?


Comfortable to be authentic: Being unique means to be authentic. Being authentic is defined as being real or genuine. Being authentic or different means being true to that in every aspect: Thinking, saying and doing. You are the cohesive self, not the pieces of incoherent parts. It seems everyone who considers authenticity has his or her own view of it. It is a construct formed in the mind and we know that the mind of every individual is different. Thus, self-awareness is important for the recognition of one’s strength and weakness, cognition ability, and style, intellectual engagement, creative problem-solving capabilities, personalities, innovativeness, plasticity, pattern discovery, dots connection, adaptation, emotional intelligence. In many traditional organizations, people feel unsafe to express themselves or try to imitate others but lose their own identity. Organizations should cultivate the culture of authenticity - to encourage people to be authentic and inspire inclusiveness, consider authenticity to be a positive outcome of enlightened and informed motivation rather than a negative outcome of the rejection of the expectations of others. In fact, people are different, not because we look different, but because we think differently, the diversity of thoughts is the fountain of creativity.


Dare to be a “misfit”: Fit or misfit is contextual. People should remember that each one of us is an individual, each is a misfit in some way or the other. So being called misfit is really not alone, or has a negative connotation, even could be a compliment, if the “misfit” mind means forward- thinking and breaking down the conventional wisdom, and people with “misfit” mind are in fact digital fit. Because when you always play safe, in afraid of being different, you might lose the character or block your creativity. From talent management perspective, “fit” doesn't mean that everyone needs to have the same thought process, the same personalities, the same preferences, or the same experiences. Harnessing the different experiences, perspectives and ideas of people have enormous potential. “Fitting” doesn’t take cookie cutting approach as well, organizational fit means inclusiveness, encourages critical thinking, welcomes constructive skepticism, and unlocks collective creativity.


Inspired to be innovative: Creativity has many forms and manifestations. Take the standpoint that creativity has its starting point within an individual. Most creative people are off the beaten track with their ideas and that is what makes them unique and sought after.  True innovations come out from within, they are not only original but self-satisfying to the initiator. A creative or an innovator has a raw intelligence to think independently, creatively, critically or futuristically. In short, innovators obviously think differently- problem-solving is part of their DNA, whether it is in the invention, marketing, repurposing something already being there. They are great problem-solvers because creative people have the ability to reframe the circumstances or conditions around a problem and to solve a problem creatively.  An innovator has an obligation to "be a natural creative thinker," to be open, to share and question, to challenge existing concepts, and to bring the new perspective, the fresh idea or the unique insight.


Digital is the age of people and options, it provides the opportunity to be authentic because you are your digital footprint. IT encourages people to be “different,” and thinks the new way to do things. A digital professional who is comfortable to be different can release more positive energy to influence the surroundings, dare to ask tough questions, and challenge conventional settings. An authentic self is like the raw diamond, not perfect, but unique and invaluable.


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