I'm without a real job for almost three years now. And I'm doing none of the things I'd expected to be doing. Actually, I didn't really expect anything. I didn't really have a clue about what I'd be doing. The only thing I had was faith in the process. Faith in the process of figuring it all out along the way.
The biggest lesson I've learned so far is that things sort of grow organically. That they have to grow organically. If they don't, that would mean that we'd be able to predict the future. That we're able to forecast everything that is going to happen, when we launch that product, work on that idea and so on.
But the truth is, plans are just plans. They don't serve any real purpose, except soothing our minds, the board's minds or our bosse's minds. They're also a good excuse when something goes wrong. Hey, it's written right there. It's not my fault that it didn't work out. It was the planning committee's fault. Or the consultancies fault.
Other than that plans don't really help that much. We'll have to change them a hundred times along the way anyway. And if we stick to the plan, we're doomed to fail anyway.
Plans work top down. Plans kill the trial & error that takes place when you let something grow organically. It kills creativity. Yes, I also truly believe that it kills innovation. You can't plan innovation top down. It just doesn't work.
Also creating an environment to foster innovation doesn't work. Either you have innovative people or you don't. An innovative environment doesn't make a lazy person innovative. Period. Luckily (for some people), there are enough people to believe this BS, which helps a lot of other people make a ton of money selling this vision.
The only thing that really works is bottom up. When you have the chance to iterate. When you have the chance to figure out what works and what doesn't. When you don't have to follow a stupid plan. When you don't have to be afraid that you'll loose your job if something doesn't work out.
This makes everything a lot more unpredictable, but the truth is that you can't predict greatness. You can't predict innovation. As a matter of fact we've proven time and time again that we're not able to predict anything.
The only thing we can do is to test the future, let things grow organically and see what happens..
[Related: I stopped giving a shit a long time ago]