During my long career in the commercial world ..I’ve always felt a bit of a square peg in a round hole. And may have come across to me colleagues as a bit of a maverick that doesn’t toe the party line & play corporate politics. Maybe that’s why I experienced a few redundancies along the way as I was deemed too dangerous for the business. Maybe I was born in the wrong era or just joined the wrong companies as doing things differently just was’nt the done thing! . …I succeeded anyhow!
But now there seems to be many square pegs that have bucked the system and have succeeded in their quest to “do things differently ” But not only that, the system ( ie the so called commercial world ) has come to respect and embrace these game changers as HR departments encourage the flow of talent as part of the employee mix.
“The term disruptive talent is an interesting rebranding of people with an identifiable character, people who we have all been working with for many years to try to help them better understand the impact they have on others,” says Mr Duff, who is a partner at UK business psychology consultancy Pearn Kandola.
“We do a lot of coaching people like this, people who are very bright in a particular role, very inventive and creative, but who have no chance of fitting into the wider culture of the business. How ironic!
“As a result, other people in the organisation cannot cope with the amount of antagonism and disruption they bring with them. That is why people who you can classify as disruptive talent tend to instead start their own businesses.”
Sir Richard Branson, who has an estimated net worth of £3bn ($4.5bn) has certainly thrived running his own businesses and is a classic example of a disruptive talent that has broken through red tape & politics.
He says: “I think anyone who sets up a business is to an extent a disruptive individual, because starting a business is simply someone thinking ‘I can do it better than anybody else, and I know how to do it’.
“For that idea to succeed you have to be doing it in a disruptive way, otherwise you’re just doing the same as everyone else and you are going to fail.
“When I came up with the idea of starting my airline and space company, people gave me every reason why I shouldn’t do it. In the end you have to be a leader, you have to give it a go.”
This belief in your own idea and that burning desire in your gut that tells you that you need to do this ; is one example of being disruptive; challenging the norm & ignoring the naysayers.
Carving out your own path completely blinkered to others criticism and ignorance is part of the challenge we all face in life. But its the hard part that makes it good. Being a maverick is cool and looking for new answers to do things better is what builds your character and allows you stand out from the crowd. Too many times, when leaders think deeply about a problem or challenge, they are merely doing what they have been socialized( ie fitting in) to believe is the right way to think about a problem or process, and it is very difficult to break this habit. All great business innovations and inventions in history have come from people who have not bought into this logic. Consider Steve Jobs. Who would have thought that a computer could have color? Or graphics? Or be a piece of furniture or art? We need to be conscious of our surrounding culture and be able to step out of it so we can produce original thinking.
Another great example is take a look at the success of Amazon. They fundamentally deconstructed the traditional relationship between a reader and an author, but kept its essence in place; the author writes a book and the reader buys the book. What was fundamentally restructured was how these two events occurred. Gone was the bricks n mortar bookstore to be replaced by an electronic one; traditional stock was replaced by one of the most efficient just-in-time supply chains imaginable. Then they followed that by restructuring the traditional physical book into an electronic platform that cut down on the weight and exponentially increased the number of books that could be purchased and carried efficiently by a reader. This sort of fundamental deconstruction and reconstruction is possible in every business sector; it simply takes a different way of thinking.
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To your success