The theme for the fifth and final day of the Davos Agenda was “Advancing Global and Regional Cooperation.” Also a good theme for the week overall, and it shines through in the recap of highlights below. Each of these sessions in some way illustrates the theme of cooperation, for companies, value chains, and public-private partnerships – even cooperation between humans and the planet, if extended to a more comprehensive sustainability perspective.
The following is an edited excerpt from my new book, Consulting Essentials: The Art and Science of People, Facts, and Frameworks.
Dr. Edward de Bono is widely considered the father of modern creative thinking. He pioneered numerous practical thinking tools, used worldwide in schools and businesses. One of the most famous is the Six Thinking Hats.
Have you ever had an idea—a brilliant idea—that you couldn’t wait to dive into? And have you ever experienced the frustration of hitting a roadblock after pouring hours and hours into your brilliant idea?
Everyone knows this feeling. The typical process looks like this:
- You have a moment of inspiration.
- You dedicate every spare moment to making this idea a reality.
- You spend every hour of the day half-thinking about your idea.
- A month down the road, you hit a roadblock you can’t overcome.
- You slowly spend less time on your idea, until your enthusiasm completely dies.
Having a degree means one thing:
You know enough to get started in a profession, but not enough to really thrive.
We all look up to someone. Professionally or personally, it doesn’t matter. There is someone who has achieved what you want, and you can learn from them.
This seems obvious and simple to most people, but most people get it wrong. They pick bad role models, or they emulate the wrong aspects of their role model’s life.
Consulting may be the most misunderstood profession in the world. People loosely associate it with business, with financial success, but if you press the average person they’d have no idea what a consultant does, or what makes a good consultant.
This isn’t their fault—there’s hardly anything written on the subject. It’s just sort of assumed that if you want to be a consultant, you’ll figure out what you need to know.
College can be an awkward time in your professional career. You have a major, decided what you want to do with your adult life, and are taking steps towards that career path, but you don’t yet have the traction or foothold to make the bigger moves you’re imagining.
I see this with a lot of my students. They’re nervous that because they have little to no work experience and virtually zero business connections, it will take forever to get their career off the ground. Or at least, they do not have the credentials to show an employer their professional and leadership potential.
Here’s a scenario I see all too often when interviewing young aspiring consultants:
A candidate spends hours researching in preparation for the interview, gaining more and more confidence each day as the interview approaches. However, on the morning of the interview they wake up and realize that for all the information they have, they don’t have the slightest clue about how to actually perform in the interview.
Sometimes in this game called life you actually have to stop and recognize that you are human and that you have limits. We all want to accomplish everything today, but we’re just begging to be overwhelmed.
Mindful achievement is a practice that focuses on being aware of our limits and our strengths, and setting ourselves up for success.
If you want to succeed in business, you must always be sharpening yourself. Part of this means being systematic about how you set goals and improve yourself, but the other part is this:
You need to constantly consume new information that teaches you new skills, and expands your expertise