Our reflex action is to follow conventional thinking and apply accepted processes to solving problems at work. Leaders looking to spur innovation have a different approach. They think and do differently. They understand that every problem offers an opportunity to spur creativity and catalyze innovation. Thinking and doing differently is their mantra, as they deliver oxygen to their firms in the form of much needed innovation. If your firm or team is suffocating, it's time for you to think and do differently.
Yesterday's models of managing and leading emphasized coordination and control. Both are in opposition to the needs of today's organizations for ideas and approaches that blow up traditional ways of doing things. A core job as a leader today is to promote more creative disobedience.
It's time to break thru the status quo of inaction around problem-solving, improving, and innovating in our organizations. Change is a personal issue played out in group settings. It's time for you to start the revolution of action!
In a recent discussion with a potential literary agent for my book proposal for, "Level-Up—The Career Guide to Surviving and Thriving in an Era of Change," the agent suggested that books built around the theme of "change" were unlikely to sell. That perspective is preposterous. Learning to help our organizations navigate change while constantly leveling up in our own careers is a core challenge that all of us face in our professional lives. We need more help on this, not less, regardless of the views of publishers. Here's why...
From our earliest days in school, we are taught to "color inside the lines." In a world where everything is changing, this advice might just contribute to the demise of your firm or career. It's time to push beyond the boundaries of those lines that constrain so much creativity.
Relying upon traditional hiring practices and dogma can leave your organization starved for the talent necessary to navigate the challenges facing your firm and industry. Sometimes, you have to go maverick!
Recognizing the need to change something in your life or career is an essential first step. Breaking the bonds of the inertial forces that keep you tethered to the status quo is the hard part.
There's a stark contrast between caretaker leaders focused on the status quo and leaders who lead in the face of adversity and the need to change. The latter use the firm's culture as a tool to enable change. They also draw upon these 11 key behaviors:
Too many firms act as their own worst enemies by sustaining rules and processes that no longer apply and that block the freedom and flexibility of employees and teams to experiment and innovate. Effective leaders and managers work daily to change or eliminate these blockers. Here's a dose of encouragement and some ideas for you to spark a healthy revolution of change in support of your team:
We spend an incredible amount of time immersed in a world of our own fabrication—the world as it feels and looks and acts from inside our organization’s walls. It’s not the culture that will kill you, it’s the view. It’s time to change it. Take off the blinders and look up and out further. Extend your focal point.