On the first day of the 2018 Gartner Symposium/ITXPO sometimes referred to as "Industry Day", Gartner welcomed Linda Kaplan Thaler, Business Leader, Author and Communications Expert. She shared her "Grit" best practices with the audience.

First, the Gartner team introduced her stating that she was about to share "words of wisdom in order for all of us to be more effective and efficient in today's world". Linda Kaplan Thaler then started her speech by sharing the example of Walt Disney who was actually, as a young drawing artist coming from Chicago, hired by a local newspaper only to be fired 2 weeks later because he "lacked imagination".

Mrs. Kaplan Thaler then went over the creation of her own communications agency, coming from the Bronx, and not leading with fear and intimidation, but rather with "joy and chocolate". Her company also insisted in creativity and on the "Yes-And Thoery", which prohibits the words "no" and "but", leading to a positive atmosphere. "We were winning a lot of contracts. But why? We were good but small, talented but not more than others…actually, we were outworking them, just like Steven Spielberg, Jack Ma and Michael Jordan, for instance, who all had to fail in order to succeed. Moreover, they had the GRIT factor: Guts, Resilience, Initiative and Tenacity," she explained. Also, according to research, it's the people with "goals of the soul" who succeed, as they aim at serving countries and protecting people.


How to improve our Grit

According to the communications expert, countries and people have now lost their "Grit" due to several factors: "scientists have decided that our children don't have enough self-esteem and therefore, we need to tell them that they are great. Plus, the media doesn't help, and there is too much data. We're addicted, we want more and now have an average attention span of 8 seconds". Yet, grit is still obtainable, whether you are 8 or 88 years old.

Linda Kaplan Thaler then shared her pieces of advice when it comes to improving and/or developing our grit. She started: "first, lose the safety net. But work on it a lot, with even harsher conditions". The expert then explained that "it is not about preparation, but about over preparation". As a matter of fact, if you think you've perfected the task, spend another 30 minutes on it. Creating your own high wire and getting comfortable with being uncomfortable is also key in an environment where things are moving so rapidly. Linda then shared a couple of examples of successful entrepreneurs who had to go through several failures before revolutionizing an entire industry, notably James Dyson. He worked on prototypes for more than 15 years and ended up with a revolutionary product. "Also, solve small problems. Break big challenges into smaller bits, and go step by step," she highlighted before explaining why "moving the spotlight" was a key aspect: "first, think about what the customers want to reach". As a matter of fact, nowadays, clients do not simply buy a product or service, they buy what it does for the greater good. "As soon as people learned how the brand Danw/Fairy was actually used to save wildlife, the sales skyrocketed and the brand almost changed overnight. Conversation and small talks are also lacking nowadays, because when people have something in common, they trust each other. "In today's world, people need to be adaptable and bend like a bamboo. They will be able to seize more opportunities," she underlined, also stating that "turning your telescope" and having different points of view allow people to come up with out of the box ideas. "And fall in love with plan Bs, which can sometimes be more successful. Finally, know that Grit has no expiration day. You can develop it no matter what age you are. The best inventions and apps are usually made by people in their 30s and 40s, while Nobel Prize winners are over 60…Therefore, I think we should retire retirement. Happiness is not the absence of problems; it's actually how you feel when you solve problems. You even feel better when you help solve other people's problems".


According to her, tech and ICT experts are doing it every day as they bring us into the future, which can sometimes be unknown and scary, but also extremely exciting. "Led by GRIT, anything is possible," concluded Linda Kaplan Thaler.


Alexandre Keilmann

Publié le 29 novembre 2018