On this week’s episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Nahia Orduna, Author of Your Digital Reinvention: A Practical Guide for Discovering New Opportunities and Finding Your Place in the Future of Work. Nahia and I talk about the journey of reinvention and her agile sprint framework for how to practically work through the process, from inspiration to execution. Let’s get started.
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Interview Transcript with Nahia Orduna
Brian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I’m your host, Brian Ardinger. And as always, we have another amazing guest. Today we have Nahia Orduna. She’s actually calling from Munich. Welcome.
Nahia Orduna: Happy to be here, Brian.
Brian Ardinger: I’m excited to have you. Now, you are the author of a book called Your Digital Reinvention: A Practical Guide for Discovering New Opportunities and Finding Your Place in the Future of Work. You’re also a Senior Manager in Analytics and Digital Integration at Vodafone. You’re one of the leaders of the women in big data organization.
I’m so excited to have you to talk a lot about what you’re seeing when it comes to digital disruption. As everybody knows, the world has changed quite a bit. And we, I think are all now struggling with that whole idea of what do we have to do to better prepare ourselves for this new world.
Nahia Orduna: During the last years I’ve been talking like industry forums about the future of work, which are skills we need to remain competitive. I’ve been also coaching people to find their place in their digital workplace. And we have higher reputation institutions like the World Economic Forum telling us that by 2022, more than half of us will need to have a significant upskilling and reskilling or that in 2018, they said by 2032 to 35 million jobs will be displaced, but over 150 million jobs will appear. And of course, now it’s like 2020, a global pandemic has accelerated all this digital future.
We were talking about…we are forced to builds new ways of interacting of working and learning. And we always hear this thing of like, yeah, every crisis is also an opportunity. How do you put this into practice? This can be a very difficult transition if you’re not proficient in this digital environment.
I created a Blueprint to help people get better digital skills. I put it like for free on my website in May, and then a lot of people were downloading it, downloading it. And then I thought, well, I got to do this blueprint. I got to bring it to the next level. So, I actually started meeting some industry experts that I know. I got testimonials from them. That their tricks to get re-mentioned. I edit these and I published the book in September.
So, it’s basically the purpose of this book is to help people to remain themselves, given the current environment and crisis. I truly believe that the world will be a better place if we all use our talents and our abilities. So, putting together my expertise, the expertise of industry experts, bring in practical examples. Overall, the book is the blueprint for anybody who wants to thrive in this digital world.
Brian Ardinger: Let’s dig into that a little bit. You have these five sprints that you have to think through as far as you have to first be inspired and then take direction and learning and that. Talk us through a little bit about the methodology.
Nahia Orduna: That’s the thing, like, what is remain? Remain cannot be something that I say, okay, tonight, I’m going to remain myself, but tomorrow I met a new expert, right? It’s a journey. And a journey is like from the moment you get inspired that you look into a travel catalog and you think. Look, there is a nice place in Maldives or in Nepal or in California, that the more you get inspired to the moment that you are already in your destination and sharing pictures with a wall, Hey, look, I’m here. Do you want to do this journey as well?
It’s a journey and every journey needs a map, right? So, these sprints are the map. And therefore, the sprints come from my background from Agile. Like we always look at the sprints, but yes sprinting in a time box, for example, like usually two weeks where you’re focusing on the area. So, either one that somebody says, okay, I’m going to get inspired tonight. It should be like at least two weeks to make an exercise, to read interviews, and to think how you get inspired.
And only when you are ready, you can go to the next sprint. That’s the idea of the sprints of how the exercise is done. And there are effective sprints. One is Inspiration, there is Direction, the other is Learning. There is another Networking. Finally, the last one is Share.
Brian Ardinger: So, you mentioned Inspiration. You’ve got to obviously recognize the fact that, Hey, I need to reinvent myself. Things are changing. And so that inspiration is partly to figure out what am I good at? And some of the skill sets that I should be either learning about and that. Or is it more from the standpoint of like, I want to work in this particular area, I want to go down this path. I want to change my life.
Nahia Orduna: So, Inspiration is the first sprint. And it’s how you discover new trends. What is happening? Your area of interest. This is, for example, as I mentioned with that trip is when you get the travel catalog and you discover new places, new trendy places, you didn’t know it exists there. So it is, this two weeks is not yet about thinking about your own strengths yet. It’s about researching new trends.
For example, what is your area of interest. In my mind, you are like a marketing professional. One of the successes is to up your area of interest with words like digital transformation, the future of work. Yes. Google them. If you start looking like Future of Marketing in 2025. If you start like Marketing Big Data. So, you will start looking into new information that you didn’t know.
There’s got to be if you’re in marketing, if you’re in HR, if you’re in finance or for example, if you passionate on sports and you want to do something with a sport, or you want to start out with sports, just start looking how big data and digital transformation is effecting the sports, because everything is effective. And then read what is there?
So, there are different exercises about things you can watch, the lifetime report. And also, in the end, what I also say is that you have to write like a journal, like a journey journal to write everything that resonates with you. Think about the new ideas. Take two weeks to really get inspired and get those ideas in and write down what resonates with you.
Brian Ardinger: And seem to follow that curiosity. Being OK with going down a particular path that you’re not comfortable with, but give you some inspiration to, say yeah I really liked that area and I want to dig into it more.
Nahia Orduna: Exactly. And then when you are ready, then you can go to the next one, Direction. And Direction is what are you thinking, what is the best for you. Direction it’s like, imagine you have a travel catalog. And I see like, okay, I would like to go to Alaska, but really, I have very small kids. And maybe for me it’s better if I go to a hotel on the beach. While when I didn’t have the kids, I was going to bungie jumping. Right. So, there are some destination a lot better for ones than for others. While all of them are good it’s just like, you have to go which destination is the best for you. Are you looking for relaxation or for entertainment?
Right. In this case is the same in this virtual world. And here, the exercises have individual direction. The sprints are about some techniques to discover your strengths. Then once you know your strengths and your weaknesses, which you can do, for example, asking the people around you, and as you have from the previous sprint, all those new ideas and from the areas, then you can uncover opportunities for you. And this is also the moment where you have to do a skill prioritization and create your development plan. That’s all what is happening in the Direction.
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Brian Ardinger: And so, you’ve got a journey that you want to go on. You figured out how you can best take that journey based on your skills and mindset. And then you go into sprint three, which is Learning Time. Can you summarize that?
Nahia Orduna: Exactly. So, learning time is like, what do you need to bring your backpack to succeed? Right? You always need to get new stuff. Now it is, you know, there’s a lot of digital learning available. And how do you prepare yourself? Which are skills you need to develop now that you know, what is your destination?
You will not succeed in your three. You will not bring the same equipment and distribute you go to the mountain, or if you go to the beach, so you need to get the best. And then I shared the tips about how to find your best learning experience. For example, do you like to learn with video with audio? For example, I am a very visual person. So, if I will be just like with podcasting, I will prefer to see something, but I know that many people just prefer like to listen instead of to read a book. Are you a reading person, a listening person? How do you absorb the information better? You can find in the digital world, so many options for you.
Also, I always advise that you get some certifications and some proper learnings. There are platforms. You can also know that you know who you want to be. You can also look in LinkedIn with Certificates, you have the experts in the area and follow some of them. So this is sprint is all about how you’re going to learn and how to learn more effectively, answer tips to learn, and get the best learnings for you.
Brian Ardinger: So, this is the place where you find new skillsets, you refine your skill sets and you refine your strengths. You understand and start beginning to outline the network, which is the next step, which is networking and taking those skills and then amplifying that out to the network. Is that correct?
Nahia Orduna: So, the networking part is around the people that about you. Imagine you go in, if I go back to the trip, usually you want to review some travel forums of somebody who has gone to the same destination as you and get some tips from there. This is what is not working about. Currently in the digital world, again, there are too many ways of networking. There are so many events.
And so, this is what I said in that, the top that like focus on networking or finding people with similar mindset, to follow up with them, establish relationships with them. I explain how to do that and how to find your network. There are a lot of like meetups, Eventbrite. There are a lot of tools. And I also interviewed people who are like, okay, I didn’t find my network. So, I created one. And with the real world, you don’t need to just focus somebody in your neighborhood. You can get anywhere. We served the experiences of how networking is so important.
Brian Ardinger: And then the last sprint is sharing that, sharing your journey. So, tell us about that particular part of the journey and why it’s so important.
Nahia Orduna: Well, to be honest, like some years ago, I would have thought when I already learned, I get a new learning, I’m already an expert. And then I found out in the last year, how its so important networking and sharing. What we have right now. Right. Like sharing in this journey, it’s like, when you go to your destination, you like it. And you are like, sending pictures to your friends and family. This is not like a vanity exercise. It Is not like look how cool I am now.
It’s about generally sharing how, you know, I’m helping people who want to get into that journey and bring them with you because those people will get inspired, will learn a new place through you, maybe some react and give you advice. Like I’ve been there before and also will consider going there. And when they didn’t think about that.
So, it’s very important to share and sharing in a digital world has a lot of opportunities now, because again, you can share worldwide. Now anybody could be listening to us right now. And I think sharing is ultimately, it’s very good for the people around you. It Is good for, if you’re working in a corporation for your own work environment, for your own business. It’s also good for the society. We all share what we know, is it going to be a better place. But this is very good for you because when you share, you prepare yourself, you get talented, you learn new perspective because you get talented. And It helps you to become this expert.
So, in the book we share like how to share, which format, how to share in the company, how to build your social media presence. Like usually, if, for example, we take LinkedIn as an example, there are very few people who actually create content. Like very, very few. Most of the people are like commenting, or some emailing, or even just reading. So those are the facts that we share in the book.
Brian Ardinger: What I like about the book is it’s a very practical guide. It walks you through and helps you think about, well, how can I reinvent myself based on the new trends, and everything else. And what I particularly like about it is because you can use this over and over again. So, you can almost start the sprint a second time or a third time in your lifetime as the world changes and as we know it’s going to change.
It gives you an opportunity to re-look at where are your skills. Where is your curiosity changing? What are the outside market forces that are changing and allows you to then adapt to that in a more systematic way, I suppose, then just waiting for the next truck to hit you?
Nahia Orduna: No, exactly. If you have a new area of interest, go through the same sprint, the same blueprint, and then you get it. And it works like I’ve been doing this in the last years. And I know many people who successfully become recognized like experts in that their digital fields.
Brian Ardinger: You’ve been in the corporate space too, in this innovation space, helping people understand new trends and new technologies and that. How can companies start looking or using some of these types of skillsets and that to reinvent themselves? Have you thought about that? Or have you seen examples of companies trying to use a similar methodology or similar skillsets to help reinvent themselves?
Nahia Orduna: If reading my article from The World Economic Forum, I know, goes around this. When we talk about the future of work, it can be like one of these movies, like you don’t know what can be catastrophic or can be upbeat and lovely. If you read now, one of the main concerns that there are is that the terms of digital inclusion. If corporations don’t have the employees with skills, with digital skills they are losing a big part of success.
So, I think there’s like a responsibility from the companies to offer like learnings and get the people up-to-date and skill and so on. And there is also the individual responsibility of each of us to understand that our jobs have changed in many ways. And we have to get reskilled.
So, when the companies get their workforce upskill and they give like communications, webinars, trainings to get more digital savvy so they know more of what is coming and how their jobs are evolving. That’s a way to make the best of their own workforce and succeed is a very important factor.
One way of getting into that could be helping the people, their workforce, to find out like where the direction is going, how their job is going to evolve, and then they will understand what are their current needs, how can they prepare for that?
Brian Ardinger: Yes. I mean, this whole idea of innovation is being democratized. Like everybody’s going to have to be much more innovative. They’re going to have to have these types of skillsets to effectively help the organization transform and grow and change as the world changes as well. So, I thank you very much for coming on Inside Outside Innovation and telling us a little bit about this. If people want to find out more about yourself or the book, what’s the best way to do that?
Nahia Orduna: My website is NahiaOrduna.Com and my book is in any market in Amazon, Your Digital Reinvention. In my website, they can download the Journey Journal for free. So some of those exercises like the template to feel while they are doing the books.
Brian Ardinger: Excellent. Well Nahia, thank you very much for being on Inside Outside Innovation and sharing this with us today. Look forward to continuing the journey and continuing the conversation in the future and appreciate your time.
Nahia Orduna: Thank you.
Brian Ardinger: That’s it for another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. If you want to learn more about our team, our content, our services, check out InsideOutside.io or follow us on Twitter @theIOpodcast or @Ardinger. Until next time, go out and innovate.
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