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DCE Magazine

Climb Outside of the Box

CareerZOT Talk by Kathy Seaton

Fall 2019

We think we're creative. We feel strategic. We feel like we're doing it differently. But are we really? I think that sometimes we get used to the status quo—or the proverbial term—stuck inside of the box. We get into this mindset that we're making progress and that we're creating change. But I've found that's not always the case.

We're now living in a world of ever changing technology. The threat that machines will take over our jobs is in some cases imminent. But we know we can't let that happen. We can't put our well-being on the sidelines, nor can we be eliminated.

So how did we get into the box anyway? Here's a few thoughts to consider:

  1. We were just trying to please upper management.
  2. We lost sight about what our consumers really need.
  3. The wheel of new thoughts became broken.
  4. Our teams started to base decisions on the past “the way we've always done it” rather than taking our futures into consideration.
  5. We became lazy.

It's time to change our thinking and it's well due that we get out of the box. But how do we do that? How do we escape the confines of what we're doing now?

Kathy Seaton I think that it takes vision. So, what if we focus and return to a state of simplicity? Steve Jobs said it best, “Focus and simplicity…once you get there you can move mountains.”

If we look back in time we will see all sorts of examples of leaders that carefully and meticulously changed the status quo. Ideas that have changed generations of people, moved business forward, toppled governments, changed the lives of several generations to come, reshaped education, and those that have built a multi-cultural society that we all enjoy.

The worst case scenario is that we stay the same. And that would be unfortunate. Evolution is same. Revolution is different. We all deserve better—not boring.

Let's get out of the box. Here's a few suggestions.

  1. Identify the problem.
  2. Determine if you really have a problem or if you just need a change.
  3. Create a game plan and make sure that it's strategic.
  4. Think globally and make sure that those thoughts create inclusivity and community.
  5. Don't second guess yourself. Execute and do it NOW.
  6. Don't ever give up.

Read more at ce.uci.edu/careerzot