Unconventional wisdom

Have you ever contributed to a Kickstarter campaign? I have, and I’ve been impressed by how Kickstarter and other platforms have become fund-raising standards in only a few years. Actually, crowdfunding is one of many unconventional concepts that are disrupting the way businesses and other organizations operate. Many of us now favor unconventional tools, processes and solutions over conventional options. We prefer new over tried and true.

We certainly see this tendency in leadership and management practices. For example:

  • Diversity is not just the right thing to do – it’s also a means for creating more innovative and effective teams. By embracing different perspectives and opinions, organizations are moving beyond groupthink to unleash the full potential of their talent.
  • Humanistic work policies (including flextime, job sharing, planned sabbaticals, relaxed dress codes) are helping employers to get more from their people and employees to get more from their jobs and lives.
  • Open offices are minimizing hierarchy, facilitating collaboration and allowing businesses to be more nimble, responsive and efficient, often at lower costs.
  • Enhanced offices with deluxe gyms, healthy cafeterias, onsite childcare, meditation areas and massage services are lowering workplace stress, improving employee health and boosting performance through better work/life balance.

We were quick to dismiss these unconventional ideas when they first appeared. Then we resisted them on various grounds. Now we’re celebrating the companies that have used them to build highly innovative cultures that attract and retain top talent and outperform competitors.

The point? The world is changing rapidly, and we need to embrace unconventional and unorthodox approaches, because they could well be our wisest and best options.

Here are a few things you can do now to take advantage of unconventional wisdom:

  • Jettison old – Kill off old products, processes and policies that are showing you down and detracting value.  
  • Pursue new – Approach new ideas with an open mind. Experiment. Be bold. Learn from what works – and from what doesn’t.
  • Move faster – Reinvent processes. Remove impediments. Settle for good over perfect. Continually learn and improve.

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