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10 Great Words for 2006

top_10.jpgFive years ago, I didn’t know how to ski. Well, I had skiied a bit as a kid, but never really picked it up. Then my wife and I decided after 9/11 that skiing would be a wonderful way to deal with all the new uncertainty in the world.

So we took it up, and it has become a huge part of my life ever since. We’ve actually become quite good at it, skiing most weekends throughout the winter at the private club to which we belong. And this January 2006, when I head off to keynote the Swiss Innovation Forum outside of Zurich, I’m likely to spend some time on the hills.

Which just goes to show that you truly can accomplish something wonderful at any stage in your life! And if there is a word to describe what I’ve done, it’s persevere; at times, I thought I might barely make it down the hill, but I kept on trying until I mastered it!

Words which provide simple insight and motivation are great. Which brings me to the 10 Great Words for 2006. Last year, I ran my list of “10 Great Words for 2005“, and these became a huge hit, reprinted in dozens of articles and conference handouts. I use those words on stage in my keynotes all the time — they’ve become an integral part of what I do.

To continue on my theme, here’s my 10 Great Words and Trends for 2006

  • Adapt: Change is happening faster than ever before. Accept that, adapt to it, and go with the flow. It makes everything a lot easier.
  • Flex : In times of rapid change, agility is a critical skill. Develop flexibility in attitude, skills and capability in order to thrive.
  • Experience: There’s a lot you don’t know. Enhance your knowledge and experience by doing all the things you’ve never done before.
  • Create: Stop managing things, and create things instead. Focus on doing things that make a difference, rather than trying to make a difference with what you’ve done before.
  • Focus: You can’t master all the knowledge there is to know, nor can you do everything you want to do. Do what you do well, and figure out new ways of doing the rest.
  • Partner: Deal with rapid change and complexity by seeking partners who can help you accomplish what needs to be done.
  • Shift: Far too many people view the future with fear rather than thinking about opportunity. Shift your focus to fridges, and you’ll find that opportunity becomes clearer.
  • Imagine: Innovators don’t make a difference by redoing the status quo — they accomplish great things by being different. And they don’t constrain their difference with traditional thinking: they simply think differently.
  • Start: You’ve probably been holding off on doing the one thing you always wanted to try to do. Drop the stop now, and begin doing it. Innovators succeed through momentum, and momentum comes from doing.
  • Enjoy: People who approach things with passion and purpose live a compelling life. Find your spark, and light it!

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