I was watching the movie “Hidden Figures” the other day and as one of the subplots unfolded, NASA had purchased a new IBM 7090 computer which was to eventually replace the so-called human “computers” with high level calculations. As this subplot progressed, the unofficial supervisor; Dorothy Vaughan, realizing that her team of human-computers could be replaced first taught herself FORTRAN computer programming so that she could not only secure her own future with NASA, but also that of her co-workers.
Now at this point, I had been procrastinating about writing an article on “relevancy”, and when these scenes came up, it struck me that this was yet another perfect example of the importance of relevancy. To be more specific, the key to success in business and life depends on an individual’s ability to make and keep themselves relevant at all times. This “quality of being relevant” can indeed affect our self-esteem and ultimately our self-confidence. Relevancy can be directly tied to the ability to deliver value, and of course value is a direct link to meeting the various human needs of the world. Identifying and meeting these various needs of course leads to new opportunities.
One key to identifying opportunities in the market is to determine what gifts, talents or skill sets you possess that would increase your relevancy in the marketplace. After this, then you determine the audience which would benefit most from this new found relevancy. This could be a potential customer/client base or a corporation that could use your talents. A great tool in finding these new found talents and/or skill sets is through the use of assessments. There are many assessments on the market. One should do the requisite research to determine which assessment works best for them. I have taken a few that I particularly liked, such as Kolbe A, Strength Finders or the Meyers-Briggs. In 2015, I created my own assessment called “Accessing Your Archetype”, which not only assist individuals with determining hidden “gifts” but also helps to determine where one’s passion lies and what area of work would be most desirable to utilize these new hidden “gifts”.
I also ran across a term a few years ago that best characterizes the nature of these “gifts” with respect to being relevant in the marketplace. In a book called “Good to Great”, Jim Collins introduces the term “Hedgehog Concept”. In simple terms, the “Hedgehog Concept” is about finding that one thing that you can become the best at and that you are deeply passionate about. In the case of the Hedgehog and Fox fable, the fox was smart and cunning with lots of tricky ways to catch the hedgehog. The Hedgehog however was great at one simple thing, rolling up into a ball so that its spiky body was the object of painful discomfort to the fox. In fact I’d like to look at the hedgehog’s ability to do this one maneuver well as its relevancy quotient for survival.
The relevancy quotient (need/demand urgency) is the ability to establish the intensity of the need of your product or service at any given time and condition. For example on a hot day in the desert people would be more prone to buy your $5 premium bottle of water than they would be on a cold day at a natural pure water spring reservoir.
So now the question becomes: How do we find relevancy in a crowded chaotic world? This will take some unlearning and reprogramming of our objective mind as we have been taught to embrace and exhibit certain habit patterns and mindsets that have not necessarily empowered us in the way that exhibits and demonstrates our full potential. But by assessing our hidden gifts/talents, finding that which evokes passion and purpose, and finally, determining how to put this into service to meet the needs and challenges of humanity, we will thus establish genuine significant value to the marketplace and maximize our relevancy quotient for the greatest chance for opportunity.