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Every individual, institution and enterprise want to remain relevant for all times to come. But we see irrelevance hitting these with uncanny regularity. People who have been able to master success at some point in time end up being caught in the irrelevance imbroglio finally, to get washed out. Remaining relevant is the single biggest challenge which all of us face. In business that is the reason why enduring business entities have been a matter of research, as in Jim Collin’s book Built To Last. Steve Job’s magic formula of relevance is in the statement, ”If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today.” He could change his course, if he found the answer to be ‘no’ for too many days.
If you pose the question to any group of professionals as to what is more difficult; achieving success or remaining relevant, there would be a unanimous reply, in favor of the latter. How can we succinctly define / or tell the tilt towards irrelevance? When the speed of change around an organization is faster than the speed of change inside the organization, the organization becomes irrelevant. Because of this fact we are witnessing institutions and organizations falling by the wayside, but the lack of its realization, keeps forcing them to look for reasons, which actually do not exist, for their downfall. How do you calibrate yourself to change, is the formula every organization tries to discover? Those who are able to find it, stay afloat and progress and others face the ugly reality of an impending disaster.
Not that the pace of change remains the same, the pace itself accelerates, it is an ever growing  challenge. What does that mean? You can decide the response. Which precisely in operational terms means that relevance is a matter of choice. It starts with developing a lab mentality. Experimenting becomes a never-ending process. It does not stop. Undeniably, most of the times you fail, but you learn to fail fast, keep moving to the next option and experimenting, till the time you succeed. The biggest victory is a psychological one, that you have to get over the fear of failure. The final realization dawns on you that yesterday’s solution cannot be a quick fix for tomorrow’s problems. A romantic relationship with failure is what we are looking for as our natural response.
To remain relevant, don’t stop learning. Growing organizations need growing leaders. It has been proven beyond  doubt that skill will bring success, in the ever-changing world. You should be able to make out what needs to change and what doesn’t. This discerning eye will decide between success and failure. Sharpening the axe does not mean wasting time. It’s the other way round. Clayton Christensen said when preparation meets opportunity, it is luck. So, luck also has a process. Acknowledging grief is another great quality, propelling us to deal with the changing times. There is no growth without change, there is no change without loss, there is no loss without pain and there is no pain without grief. We should learn to understand grief and develop the capability of dealing with negative emotions and surge ahead in life.
Sanjay Sahay

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