Become a Modern Hybrid Worker, Have Two Muscles: Discipline and Risk-Taking

Today’s new world. Developing two muscles: Discipline and Risk Taking


Companies around the world are spending millions of dollars on their innovation programs, looking for innovators and change-makers. However, merely spending energy and money is not an effective strategy for innovation. The real change drivers are the individuals who both have the right mindset and are plugged into the best networks.


Let me repeat that: It is so much more about mindset, people, and networks


“The industrial revolution turned the timetable and the assembly line into a template for almost all human activities.”

Yuval Noah Harari

Former systems are hindering employee’s creativity and ability to take ownership 

However, we all know how must of us have grown up. We’ve been educated for the industrial age, where it was all about listening to your boss and supervisor. See the picture above, before watches were mainstream, someone was knocking on people’s window, so they wake up and go to the factory. Timetables used for the industrial age is one of the things, that formatted our human’s brain and that we didn’t question for a long time. Why a 9-5?

At that time, the same happened in schools. Teachers asked us to not take decisions but simply follow the rules and listen to their instructions.


We all know that skills and knowledge in isolation do not always bring the change you need. Discipline, conscientiousness, and ceaseless research are no longer enough. You need more. You need to connect with people and drive collaboration. You need access to insights and create a feedback loop—collecting fast and frequent feedback from your customers and stakeholders to increase your chances of adapting to emerging changes.


As a matter of fact, the 1998 study “Global Theory of Intellectual Change” analyzed the network of philosophers and mathematicians in Asian and Western societies spanning two thousand years. The study showed that the secret behind an individual’s exceptional creativity was the ability of an individual to tap into their social capital (their network) to gather ideas.


Therefore; we need to unleash employees and anyone to change their mindset, and be proactive, with a DO-IT-YOURSELF attitude to create, grow and tap into their social capital.


We’re currently in a hybrid world—a mix of the industrial age and the information and knowledge economy. Our new world is fast-changing, unpredictable, and uncertain from one day to the next, and it requires us to use the behavior that worked well in the past and combine it with a mindset that works very well right now: taking risks.


Become a Modern Hybrid Worker, Have Two Muscles: Discipline and Risk-Taking


Diana Joseph has a PhD in leading science from Northwestern University in Illinois. She worked at Adobe in California as a learning strategist for more than six years and then worked at Citrix as Director for Innovation Enablement. Now she is an innovation consultant in Silicon Valley and CEO of the Corporate Accelerator Forum, an open innovation hub bringing corporates together to discuss best practices, cases, and relationships to unlock startup-corporation open innovation.


I interviewed Diana, and she had the following to say about the modern hybrid worker:


“I believe everybody has to be more entrepreneurial; that idea of agency and self-determination comes together with how dynamic and kind of chaotic our modern world is; being entrepreneurial means building two important muscles. One of those muscles has to do with discipline, finishing things, checking boxes. It is being compliant, being aligned. Those who were good at school are good at this.”



I need to improve that first muscle. I am someone who really likes to challenge things, and sometimes I lack empathy with the old generation and the ones following rules and processes I disagree with. We all know that in most of the world, the older generation is not programmed for taking risks. For instance, if they cannot be sure about the outcome of a certain project, they would just not do it. I like to try it out and see; experiment, even if it requires a lot of effort! Although taking risks may be suitable for an innovative project, we still interact with big companies running on the old paradigm and trying to make everything predictable. Tomorrow is about a mix of what we used to do and in the past and building the second muscle.


Diana had this to say:

 The other muscle is about risk-taking and innovation. Often, this muscle is one of the people who were not good at school. Taking the initiative versus discipline helps us do something we’re not sure we know how to do and helps us survive awkwardness. It helps us be resilient in the face of failure. It helps us make a mistake and turn it into a lesson.”

Most of today’s workforce has the first muscle, but too many lack the second one. Around 67 percent of American employees can cite at least one reason that stopped them from taking a risk at work (Haudan, 2016).


How to build to two muscles?



       Surround yourself with people having an entrepreneurial mindset

       Join a company which cultivates that culture, having a boss supporting such a behavior can be a big driver

       Join a successful innovation team who built several businesses; they often have such a culture.

Last but not least, follow content that may influence your behavior towards something positive and more entrepreneurial: Peter Diamandis, Naveen Jain, Foundr, etc. 




Collins, Randall. The Sociology of Philosophies: A Global Theory of Intellectual Change. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1998.