Maybe you caught the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year? I happened to tune-in for the first time in a long while to see if I could catch a glimpse of ReinventionWorks’s Executive Administrator and Marketing Coordinator, Terry Handerhan‘s son playing in the drum line of the lead band, the West Virginia University Mountaineers (look for the third row of drummers — the big drums facing sideways with the Macy’s 90th logo on them; he’s the second one from the left). That was pretty cool.
What Macy’s got partially right isn’t related to its parade, though, and more on that in a moment. In this, our first post since the Thanksgiving holiday and with the other holidays and a new year fast approaching, before our lives get too hectic, it would be a good time to take stock and reflect on our current circumstances. In truth, far too many of us find ourselves so busy these days, we react rather than prepare and plan. The less immediate the need, the more likely we are to postpone our preparation and planning. This is just common human behavior. But the reality is that this behavior leads to complacency, and when we become complacent, we’re even more likely to have our world rocked and shocked when the unexpected happens.
It can be this kind of rocking and shocking that ultimately precipitates an attempt to reinvent: people lose their jobs unexpectedly; or lose a loved one suddenly; or their spouse walks out on them without any prior warning; or they might even face a personal near-death experience. The challenge with trying to reinvent in reaction to the unexpected is that, unless you had previously been planning and preparing for an eventual change, you’ll find yourself already behind the eight ball. For this reason, I’m trying to raise awareness and convince people that “reinvention readiness” should be something we all should be preparing ourselves for.
Now, a big part of being able to start and successfully achieve a reinvention lies in a person’s unwavering belief that he can reinvent. I can tell you for a fact that if you don’t believe you can reinvent, you are not going to succeed at reinvention. This is where Macy’s comes in. Its holiday slogan is “Believe.” This isn’t a new slogan. At the time I lived and worked in Baltimore, “Believe” was once the city’s slogan. The word “believe” has also been part of many other slogans, taglines, and ad campaigns. Like I said, when it comes to reinvention, believing is crucial so kudos to Macy’s for reminding us of that at this time of year. Though their intent with “Believe” is really to inspire consumer engagement through the submission of kids’ Santa stories, that’s not even where I take issue with them getting it only half right.
You see, the problem with “Believe” is that it is only the beginning, the crack in the door. Without believing, you won’t succeed, but blindly believing without taking any action is nothing more than lip service. If this is your reinvention, why then would you want to just keep paying lip service to yourself? Truly, that’s not going to get you anywhere.
I happened to be in New York City this week. I was walking along 33rd Street, the street Macy’s lives on, and each light post along the street has a Macy’s “Believe” banner attached to it. “Believe,” “Believe,” “Believe.” I was bombarded by “Believe”! I got to thinking about believing’s role in reinvention and why so many people who talk about wanting to reinvent don’t seem to succeed at it. I concluded it came from their lack of effort to try to pursue their reinvention in earnest that was at the cause. And then I saw this slogan on the awning over an Equinox gym:
Now THAT, Folks, is reinvention language.
So if you’re someone who doesn’t like to be caught unprepared — or better still, if the lesser of two pains is to prepare rather than ignore until it’s too late — I suggest you consider getting reinvention ready. How?
- If you’re new to ReinventionWorks or if it’s been a while, you may want to first read our post, “Managing Change Through The Reinvention Continuum.”
- If you’re familiar with The Reinvention Continuum and want to see how it gets broken down into a concrete reinvention-readiness plan, look back over January 2016’s Mega Reinvention curriculum. (NOTE: The recordings of these presentations are available for per-video viewing through our Store.)
- If you’ve already started preparing for or have begun on your reinvention journey and you’re stuck, consider our ProStep Reinvention Facilitation Program (it might even make a wonderful gift to add to your holiday wish list or to give to someone special you care about).
Regardless of what you decide, please do something. Believing alone is not enough.