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Jumping off cliffs

July 22nd, 2013

cliffjump“We Have to Continually Be Jumping Off Cliffs and Developing Our Wings on the Way Down.”

This quote has been attributed to both Ray Bradbury and Kurt Vonnegut. It’s a great metaphor for what it’s like to do digital strategy at a large organization. There is another old saying that goes “Fake it ’till you make it” and I constantly feel like I’m faking it. A large part of my role is figuring out what we’ll be doing in the digital space 3 or 6 months down the road. I come up with plans and ideas for what I know will work in the financial space. Unfortunately, for most of those plans, I don’t have a clue how I’ll actually implement them… or whether it’s even possible to implement them. I just know that it’s something that we should be doing.

So like the quote, I jump off the cliff… and then pray that the wings will develop before I crash at the bottom! So far, the luck has held out and we’ve been able to implement my crazy ideas, both technically and compliantly. It’s terrifying to put plans in place and present them to the business leaders, all the while having your fingers crossed hoping you’ll be able to deliver. Unfortunately, I don’t think there are many other options in this space.

If you only plan for and implement the things you know will work, you will always be a follower. The only way to be sure something is going to work is because you’ve seen someone else in your space do the same thing. If you want to be leading edge, it means occasionally taking the leap of faith in yourself.

Categories: Strategy
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