Trying Out New Melodies

Thought leadership expert Adam Grant noted a somber tone at the World Economic Forum gathering at Davos earlier this year, which he attributed to many of the international issues we face, but he was quick to point out a few bright spots too, including this nugget he picked up from world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

“Yo-Yo Ma told me that the biggest barrier to originality is refusing to let go of our old identities. Clinging to who we’ve been in the past prevents us from trying out new melodies.”


How this affects you

Now apply that to your situation or where you are in your career, or in terms of whatever goals you are trying to achieve.

What change are you trying to bring about, either personally or in work? What baggage are you toting around as you strive to reorganize a project, work team, your approach to others or deciding on career moves? Letting go of that baggage can be scary until you figure out who you are — what successes you’ve had, and think about the experiences that have equipped you to be where you are now, in a place to make a difference.

We are always learning

None of us is ever prepared for the challenges we end up facing because we are always learning and that is a good thing. We’ve never taken a job we were 100 percent capable of the first day, even though some hiring managers want that to be the case. If they would honestly reflect on their capabilities on “day one”, they would see the folly in their actions and focus more on ensuring that you have an opportunity to succeed.

As HR professionals, taking on challenges, assuming risk and stepping out confidently, grounded in the fact that you have solved problems, worked through relationships and organizational issues and been successful in the past — and yes, that you know the body of knowledge that is your profession — is the only way you will keep moving forward.

Taking note of where you are

Some years ago, I coached individuals making career transitions and it was clear that their future success was based on recognizing the baggage of past experiences (analyzing), understanding what past mistakes not to commit again (learning), realizing the experiences and new knowledge they had attained (owning), and visualizing what potentials they could fulfill in the future (goal setting) given an opportunity.

That is a lot like freeing yourself up to be original and look for new “melodies” as Yo-Yo Ma posits.

Same approach

This same approach applies when concentrating on your business and the HR structures that support it, which is a concept we are very familiar with after helping companies with HR challenges for 28 years. We are good coaches and work with you to understand what you need to accomplish, and are even better in helping you fill HR contract, HR direct hire and HR consulting needs once you are clear. If you are open to talking with us about your needs, we just may be able to help. All positive steps start with a conversation and we are always open to that.

Best regards,