I thought it´d be suitable on a rather grey (at least here in Oslo), November morning to share some inspirational quotes. I have gathered the quotes from people of very different roles, and they can be related to all aspects of life where one is facing change and uncertainty. They should all be relevant for businesses where digital developments have brought uncertainty and the need for change is present.
1. The Celebrity – John Cleese
This has to be the my favourite quote of all times, and I´ve had it as my screensaver for years. It is straight to the point, and pretty down to earth about the fact that we are surrounded by constant change in our lives, but we just don´t think about it in that way.
I think a good start to embrace change in the workplace is to see if you can transfer the experience from facing changes in your personal life to your professional life. We all face changes in our personal life, so it should be doable for everyone.
So, ask yourself:
- How do you approach changes taking place in your personal life?
- Are any of the skills you use to handle changes in your personal life transferrable to your professional life?
By treating the changes you face in your professional life similar to the ones you face in your personal life, it becomes familiar to you, and you soon are on your way to become a professional game changer!
And, I must admit that John Cleese is probably the funniest person I knew when I was younger, so I also like this quote just because it is by him. If you haven´t seen Ministry of Silly Walks from his Monty Python days, you need to – that will for sure brighten up your day. I used to have the silly walk practiced down to perfection, but am getting somewhat rusty on it.
2. The entrepreneur – Anita Schjøll Brede
My next quote comes from an entrepreneur – Anita Schjøll Brede, whom I wrote briefly about, in relation to her presentation at the Oslo Innovation Week. Ms. Brede does not have a technical background, but rather an arts major – however she works as a tech entrepreneur.
I think the quote really shows the right spirit in a world facing big changes, but it also proves that you can work with technology without being an engineer. You will of course not be able develop what an engineer can, but you can learn over time about what technology can do and not.
Putting together a team of people from diverse backgrounds is key to innovate. Again and again, it has been proved that diversity brings more innovative solutions. Therefore, it makes sense that an arts major works with technology as well as people from all sorts of other different backgrounds.
Embrace new things, and believe that you can find out how to do them. As long as you put your mind to it, you will figure it out.
3. The Business Mogul – Richard Branson
This guy knows how to dream big, and he is concise about where he is headed and why. That means he inspires people to follow him, and that brings about big movements and thereby changes impacting many people.
I like this quote, because it ties in well with the notion that innovation means being willing to test out things, and fail. Most people are afraid of failing, but if you never fail, you never learn things, and by learning things, you actually get things done.
Ensure your organization (or at least the project team working with innovation) has a culture where failure is accepted, as long as you learn from it.
4. The Professor – Theodore Levitt
Speaking about getting things done – I used this next quote as a header image in a blog post I wrote last week on innovation from within organizations. It is from a Harvard Business School professor, and is just one of many great quotes coming out of that institution.
I find this quote to be enlightening, as it really gives a straight forward explanation to the divide between creativity and innovation. It doesn´t really take too much effort to think of new things, as long as the setting is right, the coffee does its job, and sources of inspiration are plentiful. However, getting things done, is a completely different ballgame.
5. The Fictional Character – Pippi Longstocking
Lastly, Pippi Longstocking is one of my favourite heroes from my childhood, and a true inspiration when it comes to her approach to uncertainty. She is a positive and brave girl, who is not afraid to try new things.
That is for sure the spirit that is needed to succeed in a changing world – and in a way a version of this is what the entrepreneur in quote number 2 lives by.
I think these quotes are for everyone – even if you are not a celebrity, entrepreneur, business mogul, Harvard professor or even a fictional character. If you approach digital change with a mix of curiosity, bravery and willingness to try and potentially fail, you are well on your way to finding your way in a changing world.
If you are interested in more inspirational quotes, feel free to follow my board “Inspiring Quotes” on Pinterest.