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Kill Your Company Today To Fly Into The Future

| 3 min read

You need to kill your company that exists today if you want to innovate and transform. This is a concept and an approach for innovators.

In humans, as many as 1011 cells die in each adult each day and are replaced by other cells (reference Developmental Biology). Cells die each day to keep the body alive.

Isn’t it great learning that we can bring to organisations?

We all know what Dick Fosbury did to high jump. He was laughed at when people saw his way of jumping. A civil engineer by background, applied mechanics to his new method and won Olympic gold, and created a world record. He did the exact opposite of what everyone was doing. Check out this short video to know more about this challenge of the status quo.

How Dick Fosbury Created A World Record Breaking The Convention

In this edit, I am sharing the framework of questions which can help you die every day (kill your company every day).

How to kill your company every day

We live in a world our questions create

David Cooperrider

That observation is a testament to the power of questions. What we ask sets the stage for who we will become together.

One way is to channel your inner six year old. Children are masters at ignoring conventional wisdom.

If you ask the following set of questions as frequently as you can, you will generate more and more new cells in the organizations.

Question #1 | Do I Know This?

As Epictetus, the stoic philosopher puts it “it is impossible to learn that which one thinks one already knows”

It is always good to say “I don’t know” as often as possible. The illusion of knowledge is a great blinder.

Question #2 | Is This Idea Really Bad?

Consider exploring bad ideas. Look at the history of “bad ideas”.

“There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that
the atom would have to be shattered at will.”
Albert Einstein, 1932

“This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo, 1876

“Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia.”
Dr. Dionysys Larder, professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, 1793-1859

Digging deeper into bad ideas reveals gems. Also reframing and reenvisioning bad ideas generate transformative moments.

Question #3 | What fact would change your opinion?

It is important that you stress test all opinions including yours.

If you keep asking these questions, you are in search of facts and you run your business with informed decision making.

Like Mark Andreessen puts put “Strong beliefs, loosely held”. What that means is, strongly believe in an idea but be willing to change your opinion when the facts show otherwise.

We are wired to like people like us on social media. We live in a reflective chamber. One way is to start connecting with people who are different from us, who have different points of view, who disagree more than agree.

Question #4 | Can I dance with criticism?

Conformists are going to challenge you when you challenge the status quo.

It is time for you to not take these idioms against change, seriously.

“Don’t shake the apple cart”

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

If you want to challenge the status quo, learn to dance with criticism.

Question #5 | What have you failed at this week?

Observe the conversations in your organizations. Are you patting on people’s back on when things go well only?

Is this question, “What have you failed at this week?” asked at all and celebrated?

Fear of failure is how we are programmed genetically. Centuries ago, that meant eaten alive by a tiger.

As Seth Godin puts it “Today’s failure merely means shame, or a conflict or a restart. You are unlikely to die from it.”

Embrace failure.

Hope this framework of questions helps. We wish you all transformative times ahead and a Fosbury moment soon.

Stylumia was born challenging the status quo of how product decisions are taken in the world of fashion and lifestyle retail. We would like to continue asking these questions to stay closer to reality than ever before.

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