When you look at the world today, do you notice that things are more direct? Is "disintermediation" (as a Time piece calls it) changing the world as we know it? We're removing middlemen. Think Netflix = movies direct to consumers. And Blockbuster shuts it doors. Think Amazon = everything to everyone in two days for free. And who knows how many places shut their doors! Why is this happening?

I'll tell you why. People need something different. People think what they have is broken or stodgy or stuck. And the only way out is to turn everything on its head. To disrupt the you-know-what out of this whole system! Sometimes the things that always worked just don't work anymore. The end.

Do you ever get that feeling? Do you think your people get that feeling? I have worked with plenty of companies (that I won't name) who have felt stuck. And you know what they needed? They needed to be disrupted, they needed to turn everything on its head, they needed some new thinking and doing to get out of the muck.

The great news is that being a disruptor doesn't require you to have your own reality show or helicopter or casino-hotel (or comb-over). All you need is a fresh perspective and some support in the form of ideas and inspiration. So here you go... my two cents on how you can disrupt your organization to motivate and engage your people so they get un-stuck and move forward in the direction of your collective purpose.

1.  Be authentic.

This one might seem simple and obvious but most leaders never really fully bring their whole selves into the light for all of their employees to see. Be open, honest, humble. Admit when you don't have all the answers and seek input from those around you. Tell them of your dreams and your fears about being able to achieve them. Bring it. All of it.

2. Take a risk.

And empower your people to do the same. Don't be silly, but be daring in a calculated way. Give people the boundaries within which you're comfortable with them trying a new approach or testing a new idea. Even if it doesn't work out the first time, or even the fifth time, the respect you'll earn for going out on a limb will carry a lot of weight.

3. Show, don't tell.

Draw a picture. Literally draw a picture (or hire someone to do it for you). Most people really benefit from actually seeing a visual representation of where you are today and where you want to go. Learning Maps are a great way to do this and they resonate loudly, especially when people have never been exposed to a method that truly shows them what is needed and how they can personally impact the outcome.

4. Make getting un-stuck stick.

Getting out of the grip of boredom, monotony, or whatever is holding you back is just the first step, not the last. Once you're unstuck, you have to make the new ideas/culture changes/behavior modifications/process enhancements a part of your organization's every day workings. Make a plan for how to keep the feelings of lightness, freedom and inspired thinking going for the long haul. Hold events, recognize employee achievements on the path to reaching your greatness, celebrate wins, honor customers, give back, repeat.

Are you in need of a little disruption in your organization? Try the Disruptor hat on for size. Maybe you already are. Let me know how it goes.

Published on: Jul 26, 2017
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