There is "more than one way to skin a cat" and there are those who take the high road, and others who take the low road to get to where they are going.
The Wall Street Journal (28 November 2011) has two articles this morning on how how reverse is the new forward.
"Reverse Mentoring Cracks Workplace" is about how "Top managers get advice on social media, workplace issues from young workers." It's a reverse on the traditional mentoring model where older, experienced workers mentor younger workers; now younger technology savants are teaching their older colleagues some new tricks.
According to the article, Jack Welch championed reverse mentoring as head of GE when "he ordered 500 top executives to reach out to people below them to learn how to use the Internet...fast forward a decade and mentors are teaching theirmentees about Facebook and Twitter.
Really this phenomen of learning from the young is not all that odd, when you think that many, if not most, of technology's greatest advancements of the last 35 years came from college kids or dropouts working out their garages and growing whole new technologies, industries, and ways of doing business.
Another article called "Great Scott! Dunder Mifflin Morphs Into Real-Life Brand of Copy Paper" describes how Staples and Quill have teamed up to market a new brand of copy paper called none other than Dunder Mifflin (from the TV show "The Office" now in its 8th season).
Here again, we are in going forward in reverse. "For decades, marketers worked to embed their [real] brands in the plots of TV shows and movies. Nowadays, they are seeing value in bringing to life fictional brands that are already part of pop culture."
This reminds me of when I started seeing Wonka chocolate bars--originally from the movie, Willie Wonker and The Chocolate Factory--showing up on store shelves.
Whether the young mentoring the old or fictional brands showing up in real life, changes that are the reverse of what we are used too, are not something to "bristle at", but rather are the new normal.
There are many ways to success and we will find them through creativity, innovation, and entreprenuership--any and every way forward.