Mo asks Ozan Varol: How can we do a better job of getting the kind of work that we want?
One of the biggest problems in the business right now, especially in this time of uncertainty, is that we assume that other businesses around us know something that we don’t, so we end up copying their strategies. This ends up in a race to the center, where businesses start to look more and more like each other. First-principles thinking is a way of questioning assumptions that you or other people have taken for granted. One of the best tools for identifying your invisible assumptions about your business is cross-pollination. Look at other industries and see what they do because what is commonplace in one industry can be completely innovative in another. A great example is the origin story of Netflix, where Reid Hastings had the idea of applying the subscription model that gyms use and applied it to video rentals. Most of us can not see our outdated assumptions because we are too close to the problem. There is immense value in stepping outside of your industry for inspiration. The humility that comes from saying you don’t know something is very rare, but that is the mindset that often leads to innovation. Many of the business leaders that have transformed the way we do things have done so with the beginner’s mindset after entering another industry from the one they started in. Bring people into the conversation that know nothing about what you are working on. Beginners have a way of looking at a problem that more experienced people can’t even see. Experts should not work in isolation, they should benefit from the input and the “dumb” questions of amateurs.
Mentioned in this Episode: