Unconventional paths

In the excellent series "Breaking Smart" I was introduced to the neat division of "promethean" and "pastoralist" thinking.

The pastoral mindset is that of an individual tending an existing system, conservative and caring. The promethean mindset is that of the innovator, seeking new techniques and processes to improve the system.

The pastoral mindset is great during ideal times, where revenue streams have been identified and there is no threat of competition. In tech, this is rarely the case. It's crucial to be able to respond as the landscape changes. Innovate or die, as they say.

But an organization can be very slow to change. Especially when built on a safe and profitable foundation. No one wants to jeopardize profits.

At an organization level, if you are looking to ensure contant growth, you need to innovate. The three horizons model demonstrates how this can be done.

I think this model also works at an an individual level, as a way to cultivate new skills while tending the core business.