Reinvention has unseated innovation as the it word for our times. If you spend any time at all looking for it, you'll notice it's everywhere. Companies use it to describe a major shift, people use it to announce a big change, and countries show it by reinvigorating how they interact with each other on the world stage. Every product, person, brand, company has reinvented, or is in the process of reinventing itself.
Reinvention can mean many things, and to a single person it'll fit into multiple compartments, roles, slots, careers, levels. As one word with a lot of momentum behind it, at times it seems it's carrying the lofty dreams and weighty problems of the entire world on its shoulders.
Innovation was the word that used to carry the load, but it became overused and lost most of its power. While inventors built the 20th Century, it is reinventors who are building the 21st Century. Reinventors have turned ideas into communication platforms, turned ease-of-use into entire corporations, and turned media on its head.
Everyone everywhere has a stake in reinvention now. We're living in an age of adapt or die, transform or fall behind, change or stay stuck. Reinvention is the living word with multiple tasks to accomplish. It will continue to nudge, project, promote, and re-imagine for the foreseeable future.
A director is touted as reinventing a form of moviemaking, a company puts out an app that reinvents how people connects with each other, and an ecommerce website interacts in a whole new way toward customers and reinvents consumer expectations. One person wanting to help a family member posts hand-drawn lessons online and begins the reinvention of education movement. A girl with a voice and a strong will stands up and demands fanatics listen, and she becomes a leader for youthful activism. From a wide-angle lens perspective, reinvention is becoming a worldwide movement.
While the connectivity of technology is one of the driving forces in 'all things reinvention,' it is the emotional resonance and stimulation that comes from having an open mind that makes groups interact and come together to create the next stage of social and cultural reinvention.
Living in a time when mobile phones have been reinvented into pocket-sized computers, reinvention is what's driving forward-thinking people, companies, and countries. But reinventing the digital device, one's way of being in the world, or igniting a complete cultural makeover takes a different type of energy. It is the energy that comes from knowing there's a new current of ideas melded with actions electrifying people across the world.