To embrace the new logic of value creation, you have to unlearn the old one
In our era of innovation and digital disruption, even the best companies struggle to make real progress. The problem isn’t learning: It’s “unlearning.” To embrace the new logic of value creation, you have to unlearn the old one.
The process of unlearning has three parts:
1. You have to recognise that the old mental model is no longer relevant or effective: This is a challenge because we are usually unconscious of our mental models. In addition, we might be afraid to admit that the existing model is growing outdated. We have built our reputations and careers on the mastery of these old models. Letting go can seem like starting over and losing our status, authority or sense of self.
2. You need to find or create a new model that can better achieve your goals: At first, you will probably see this new model through the lens of the old. Many companies are ineffective in their use of social media because they still think of these platforms as channels for distributing a message. They haven’t made the mental shift from one-to-many to many-to-many. Social media is best thought of as a context rather than a channel.
3. You need to ingrain the new mental habits: This process is no different from creating a new behavioural habit, like your diet or golf swing. The tendency will be to fall back into the old way of thinking and therefore the old way of doing. It’s useful to create triggers that alert you to which model you are working from. For example, instead of calling your customers “consumers” — this corresponds to a transactional mindset — find a word that reflects a more collaborative relationship.