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Competence

Scott McLeod quotes Seth Godin this week:
“Competent people resist change. Why? Because change threatens to make them less competent. And competent people like being competent. That’s who they are, and sometimes that’s all they’ve got. No wonder they’re not in a hurry to rock the boat. . . . In the face of change, the competent are helpless.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to change … to reinvent … or to redesign. No, it doesn’t take time; it takes will. The will to change. The will to take a risk. The will to become incompetent – at least for a while.”
Here’s the original Fast Company article “Change Agent“.
Our field is loaded with very competent people and that’s pretty good – – and bad. This article and quote would make an interesting discussion group topic for groups of competent people. A wide ranging and open discussion facilitated by someone who put the discussion on the right path for the best responses to times of turbulent change would be quite exciting.
The opposite of competent management isn’t incompetent management. It’s comfortable management. It’s myopic management. It’s careless management.
“In times of change learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to work in a world that no longer exists.” (attributed to Eric Hoffer)
Anyone noticed any turbulent change in the past few weeks? Anyone seeing any ostrich behaviour?
Just wondering.
Stephen

Posted on: September 25, 2008, 10:57 pm Category: Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. This post blew me away. It really is very liberating to accept the idea that if you are open to feeling “incompetent” for awhile, you may come out ahead of the so-called experts.

  2. Thanks for this comment and link. Had a particularly bad, and very eye-opening week at my work place, and take much comfort from outside sources that promote that attitude of willingness to continually learn.

  3. Erik Sandall said

    I’m a little confused by this.
    I would not consider anyone who resisted change for the better to be competent. There is so much more to being a professional than doing certain tasks competently. For example, the possessing and exercising the ability to recognize and explore emerging trends, uphold professional ethics, and adapt to adverse or turbulent conditions.
    Also, competent management resists change, and it seems to me that myopic or comfortable management would resist change, as well. That makes them the same, not opposite.
    /Erik Sandall
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    Really? Interesting.
    SA