The term disruption has been quickly gaining momentum since the early 2000’s. The challenge is that it means different things to different people. So for today, let’s decide that the disruption we are talking about is how to do what you are doing today better than how you did it yesterday.
How would you feel if your team members came to work wearing a hat every day that said, ‘DISRUPTOR’? Excited or exasperated? I would be excited for a day or two, and then I might want to yank those hats off!! It is the negative connotation that I have in my head that gets me stuck.
So how can we turn it around? What if your team members came to work wearing hats that said, ‘How Can We Do It Better?’ How would you feel then? I would like that! It is empowering, and positive and inspiring to me! Well, that is exactly what disruptive thinking is about; figuring out how to inspire and motivate your teams to always be thinking in terms of improvement before they need you to ask for a better solution.
So, how do you help your team members engage in ‘How Can We Do It Better’ thinking? Here are 3 quick tips:
START WITH YOURSELF:
Are you modeling the behavior you expect from your team members? Do you question the status quo? Do you refuse to settle for mediocrity? Is ‘average’ or ‘Ok’ just not good enough for you? If you answered yes to all these questions congratulations…you are modelling disruptive thinking. If not, it is time to start. In what area are you certain you can do better? Where do your products or services miss the mark of success? Where are you settling?
What are the assumptions you have been lulled into believing? Start to tear these assumptions apart…start asking the ‘what if we did this…’ or ‘what if we stopped that…’type of questions. Be being willing to question everything that you do so that your team members will be willing to do the same.
SET THE EXPECTATION:
Do you share with your team members that you expect them to do things better today than they did yesterday? Set the goal for them to come up with one idea per month on how to do what they do…better!
SCHEDULE THE TIME:
Do you make the time for disruptive thinking in the schedule? One of the biggest challenges your team will face when asked to be creative, or to think about innovation or to smash the status quo is being busy. Even when the old way isn’t working nearly as well as it should or could we still often resist change…because it is so darn hard.
We are not suggesting you make time to simply throw spaghetti at the wall and hope it sticks. Make it a priority to schedule the time to think, then prioritize the ideas, create an action plan with a reasonable timeline and follow up. It is best to start small and fail fast. Get an idea you can sink your teeth into and then run with it for 90 days. If it shows promise and progress…keep going for another 30 days. If it isn’t showing the type of results you were hoping for…stop!!!
So there you go, 3 tips to help you get that ‘How Can We Do It Better’ hat on!
Now go be the best leader you can be!