Own Your Disruption

July 31, 2017

Leaders make one of two big decisions.

  1. Choose to go with the tide; or
  2. Help change its course.

Option one causes you to inevitably self-limit the growth your organization can experience. The later demands organizational evolution; developing the agility and capability to recreate customer experiences, not just meet them.

As a leader, it is your duty to improve the way your organization functions and services communities. That belief must bleed into how you approach and play with possibility.

For the most part, this unwavering drive for discovery and excellence has to bubble from within. But, there are conscious steps you can take to build momentum within the organization, so that collectively change is what you do, not what is done to you .

Focus on Stability and Consistency, not Growth

Take the time to build your foundation. Ensure the core aspects of your business are stable and delivering consistent quality outcomes to the customer. Effective growth is best achieved in stable environments, where change cannot alter the fundamentals of an institution, or negatively disrupt the internal economy. Stability also ensures you have a trusted set of organization data to support leadership management and architectural shifts.

Unlearn and Relearn, Constantly

Schedule events of unlearning. ’Different’ is uncomfortable because it requires us to question our convictions, challenge existing data, and often, put forth our physical and mental faculties into new ways of learning.

If we want to ensure we don’t fall back on any biases we may hold (which is only human), or unconsciously seek validation of them, we need to occasionally plant ourselves in safe environments that allow us to uncover these biases and behaviours and how they affect the business and organization. This kind of self-induced disruption allows us to stay open-minded and think in non-traditional patterns.

Scale Learning, not Efficiency 

Focus on what will lead to growth, not growth itself. Always see the business through a customer lens. A customer focus provides clarity, validates organizational purpose, and keeps your head above the stickiness of internal politics and process thinking. It also forces every member in the organization to base decisions on analysis, not intuition, especially when it’s not convenient. For leadership teams, this means you are less likely to jump into past decision-making behaviours, particularly during times of stress or conflict.

It means you are more likely to own disruption, and not be outpaced by it.