In this ever-evolving landscape of our modern world, the quest to remain relevant emerges as a central challenge for individuals and organizations. My perspective on this challenge is rooted in strength and value. As a transformation strategist, I’ve come to recognize that my greatest strengths lie in my ability to forge strong relationships, spark insights, unearth the core issues, and craft a strategically aligned and compelling solution.
If you are a transformation professional like me, you are doing this using best practices in facilitation and human-centered tools to co-create these solutions. Not only does this approach foster belonging and diversity of thought, but it also ensures that we are connecting and developing buy-in along the way. So, when the topic of AI comes up, it’s hard for me to understand catastrophizing about how it will take away jobs. Much of the value we pour into projects requires skills not possible with AI’s capabilities.
It’s still possible to fall behind, so here’s a blueprint to keep you up to date, no matter what twists and turns the landscape takes or how fast technology evolves. Here are my Top 3 Tips to Stay Relevant as a Transformation Strategist.
1. Embrace A.I with Confidence
We all have those small tasks that are important but a time-suck! Think of AI as a tool because that’s what it is. I use it for various tasks, from reviewing an article’s flow to supporting actual data synthesis and report development for complex workplace and transformation projects. There is the added layer of needing to scrub the data first but, trust me, the results are worth every effort!
I recently sat an eye-opening AI + Change Management short course, which showed how to harness AI for key change strategy deliverables. I sat there amazed at how quick and flexible AI was for crunching data and developing relevant themes. I recommend this course to anyone who conducts client workshops and deals with qualitative and quantitative data.
There is also a misconception that using AI is cheating or misrepresentative, which is simply not true. To stay relevant, we need to double down on the demand and value of our role when it comes to actual behaviors and mindset change to enable adoption. It requires us to be strategic and incredibly interpersonal. Sitting behind a computer summarizing Post-it notes is not a good use of our time, but it is a good use of AI.
2. Unleash the Power of Global Networking
We all know how important it is to network. It creates a sense of familiarity and belonging amongst a wider group of people and opportunities to showcase who you are and your brand. This also helps others advocate for you. Remember, people like working with people they like.
The world is forever feeling smaller and smaller because our connections are extensive. It’s easy to stay comfortable networking with your second and third connections on LinkedIn. It takes a bit of courage to virtually tap someone on the shoulder that you have no association with and say, “Hey, we don’t know each other, but I love your profile and your career journey. I’m really resonating with what you’re posting and keen to learn more about you.”
Let’s take this to the next level. My challenge for you is to meet at least three new people worldwide weekly. My experience has been that it is the best way to stay relevant and know what’s happening on the other side of the world, not just in our backyard. Learn how people in different cultures are responding to advances in technology, evolution of social paradigms, and how people are improving their practices in change management and strategy.
3. Embracing Failing Forward
The consulting world has shifted, the information age is over, and nobody cares how much you know. They only care if you can make it relevant and apply it! Progress over perfection is the name of the game, and this is supported by clients more than ever as we strive to experiment with pilots and labs and foster a culture of continuous learning. This requires you to have a growth mindset and truly take on failures as opportunities for growth. I like to call it failing forward, which can help you stay relevant.
Failing forward affords me opportunities for storytelling. As you are storytelling you can demonstrate your commitment to active and continuous learning. I have so many stories throughout my career where I have absolutely bombed. These situations have become cornerstone learning moments for me and helped to humanize me as a leader. I will always be the first to tell you a story about that one time when something didn’t go as planned.
Storytelling is how we connect as humans, so it supports my goal of developing deeper connections with clients and peers. Remember to stay relevant we must focus on how we add value and what A.I. cannot do; relationship management, showing up as your full self and building trust. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about keeping it real and relatable. It’s not always easy, but failing forward takes radical accountability. You must own your mistake like it was your baby. That’s your growth opportunity right there – why would you give it away?
A person I look up to when it comes to failing forward is the Incredible Caroline Wanga, CEO of Essence. She’s learned to become an expert at failure recovery! Take a listen to her here in this 30-second clip.
In conclusion, as a transformation strategist, I’ve realized that the dynamic nature of our modern world presents us with an ongoing challenge – the need to remain relevant. In tackling this challenge, I’ve learned to focus on my strengths and the value that I bring to the table. My ability to cultivate strong relationships, pose impactful questions, uncover profound insights, and craft strategic solutions has proven indispensable. While concerns about AI’s potential to replace human roles exist, it’s important to note that numerous aspects of our work demand skills beyond AI’s capabilities. This blueprint is meant to offer you practical guidance for maintaining relevance. Armed with these insights, I am better equipped to navigate the ever-evolving landscape and ensure my continued relevance as a transformation professional, and you are too.
Learn more about our Author: Cristina is a 90’s dance music loving, down to earth professional with a flare for keeping it real. She is fiercely committed to supporting organizations and individuals to unlock potential and grow with purpose. She has a demonstrated history of supporting clients, nationally and globally, through organizational transformation initiatives. Her strategy and transformation projects span technology, culture, experience programs, people and mindset, and place. As an educator she helps organizations and leadership teams build trust and develop cohesion and the skills to develop high-performing teams. With the ability to work across multiple verticals and industries, she is passionate about developing creative, meaningful and measurable solutions for organizations. She is a community builder and advocate for people-centered business practices and is a champion of new power models which acknowledges the wisdom of the collective. In action, she leads with compassion, directs with candor, and manages with agility.
*Disclaimer: This post was not generated by A.I. It is indeed written by a real life human. A pretty cool human in fact.