Don’t let Reinvention intimidate you.

“Reinvention” may be as simple as doing the right thing.

It doesn’t have to be for an entire organization or company.

It may just mean doing the right thing for you. Indulge yourself, your own wants and natural tendencies, and become a twenty percenter.

Because it is such a favorite word of mine lately, and I’m saying it so often, I’m finding out that the notion of reinvention is pretty intimidating to a lot of people. When I start to say, “I believe it is high time we reinvent the workplace, and work itself ”” in a speech, training or coaching session, people start to squirm and look uncomfortable, even though the reinvented workplace I start to describe to them is something they want very badly.

Ultimately, as far as they can see, seeking reinvention means opening the door wide to change, and embracing it wholeheartedly. In fact, it’s worse: most people assume that when you reinvent something, it means you can never go back to what was.

Well, do you want to?

Perhaps it would be easier to think of change (and thus reinvention) in a different light: When it comes to the work you do, what would you change if you wanted to, if you could, and if it were totally up to you to do so?

Surely you can’t be satisfied with everything exactly the way it is — unless you’re a twenty percenter.

I finished Marcus Buckingham’s new book yesterday, and in it, he again talks about this 20% statistic, familiar to those of you who read as far as the very first chapter of Now, Discover Your Strengths:

“” according to Gallup research only twenty percent of people report that they are in a role where they have a chance to do what they do best every day.”

Does this bother you as much as it bothers me?

Imagine: a staggering eight out of every ten people in the workplace feel somewhat miscast in their role. Stop and think about the sad state of customer service today, and you’ll think, “oh, no wonder.” Eight out of every ten. Eighty percent. What an incredible waste.

However, optimist that I am, I look at this as an absolutely golden opportunity. Can you imagine how much reinvention would naturally happen simply if people were in the job that was right for them? If they capitalized on their strengths, and followed the calling of their personal values, the fulfillment they naturally seek out would bring about reinvention that boggles my mind.

It is illuminating — and terribly exciting — to think of the global reinvention that would occur if we could just swing the percentages from 20% to 40%, or 50%, then to 60% ” slowly but surely ” I wonder what our tipping point would be?

If the Gallup statistic is accurate, managers have got 80% of the world to get engaged, reshuffling them into jobs they love, because those jobs are a match for their strengths and their values. This is the heady stuff that awaits great managers, and this is why I get so excited about the potential of coaching and training them with the values-centered philosophy of managing with aloha.

Lucky me, I am definitely a twenty percenter: Coaching new supervisors and managers to “rearrange roles, responsibilities, and expectations so that they can capitalize on the uniqueness (Marcus Buckingham quote)” of those in their ‘ohana in business is my job made in heaven. There is nothing I love more than seeing talents become exceptional performance, and that word I’ve been using — reinvention — is as straightforward as that.

However I also believe that effective strengths management is not enough: you must add value-matching so that your personal integrity finds fulfillment, and that’s where Managing with Aloha comes into play.

By the way, you can be a twenty percenter too. Choose your job wisely, and reinvent work by recasting yourself. Why wait for a manager to do that for you?

Related Posts:
Optimism: don’t leave home without it. About Marcus Buckingham’s new book, The One Thing You Need to Know.
-Our March Ho‘ohana: Visible Reinvention in Action

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  1. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! We need more of this type of “voice” in business today!
    I look forward to hearing more about the types of things you are doing at your company and the incremental outcomes of success.

  2. says

    Aloha Rosa,
    I have this friend, lets call him Bob. Bob works for a national company that has around one-hundred locations throughout the USA. At his location, Bob answers to a general manager. On more than one occasion this gm has clenched his fists, scrunched his face and declared to no one in particular (but making sure plenty are around)…how much he hates change.
    The gm answers to a regional vp who answers to two or three more people before getting to the president. This lap-dog crowd dances to the hypnotic hysteria of Wall Street flute players. Consequently the gm is in heaven, for the corporate lap-dogs have taken their eye off the ball and blindly stare at the scoreboard in centerfield – the one that pulsates their name in harmony with the flute players from Mars.
    Oh, the corporate lap-dogs realize change is necessary. So they fiddle with the corporate logo or they change a national vendor or they suddlenly get the desire to become warm, fuzzy and ethical – right about the time the Sarbanes-Oxley train pulls into town. This means nothing to Bob. Bob knows change must come at the company’s point of delivery – where customer meets employee.
    Maybe Bob has chosen the wrong job. Problem is, while most of his industry doesn’t have to answer to Wall Street, they still refuse (or do not possess the competency) to address the true point of delivery.
    So Bob can have it all going. He knows his strengths, he always tries to do the right thing and he is connected with his personal values. Heck, Bob even told me something must be wrong with him – because that is what the gurus tell him. They say when one believes the problem lies outside of their selves, it is best to introspect because the problem must really lie within.
    Actually, I have directed Bob towards The 8th Habit, because I believe it addresses this very problem. Problem is Bob says a lot of these authors live in a fairy tale world. They are not out there living the agonizing career life that he is.
    I don’t know Rosa. What about Bob?

  3. says

    Earn your keep, get paid more

    Because of my own work history, I get asked about working in the hotel industry a lot. Inevitably the subject of fair and equitable compensation comes up at some point of the conversation, for the hotel business is one in