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To Do Better Work, Seek More Chaos in Your Job

With corporate life spans shrinking and the pace of change showing no signs of slowing, business school graduates and up-and-coming managers must strengthen their innovation muscles to prepare for the coming age of discontinuity. To get ready: Seek chaos, diversify your skills, and broaden your innovation network.

Innovation is not chiefly an academic pursuit, so would-be innovators need to put themselves in ambiguous situations where they have no choice but to come up with creative solutions. That doesn’t necessarily require joining a startup. If you work inside a company, find a way to involve yourself in a new product launch or take an assignment in an emerging market. If you are in school, help a club or local nonprofit do something it hasn’t done before. Seek chaos—and the learning that comes from it.