Friday, June 06, 2008

Are You a Maverick Thinker?

Are you a maverick thinker? By maverick thinker, I don’t mean coming up with the ideas and innovative concepts to run with, rather it’s balancing innovation with what already exists and is successful that might give an organization the winning edge.

For some organizations, especially government, the hiring process is so rigid, it excludes the maverick thinkers, relying more on educational and professional credentials than what they can bring to the table. Toss government criteria in the mix when they have to classify levels to the ‘nth’ degree which adds a restricting framework around how the job gets done, and it makes a huge difference as to whether or not maverick thinkers can thrive or even exist.

Supporting these thinkers while at the same time moderating what they actually fly with will make a difference with regards to payback. That's the role of leadership. Not an easy role by any means. Leadership has to moderate how many new ideas the organization will fly with as running with too many ideas will cause loss of focus and reduced profit in every realm, not just the innovative ones.

Many have no idea what they shouldn’t be doing so dive in with both feet. Some become extremely successful and others can’t understand why they’re struggling. If you talk yourself out of things before they start, you’ll stagnate. If you don’t even conceive that failure is an option, you’re more apt to take risks and play with innovative concepts and ideas.

Energy will be on possibility rather than the impossible. If leadership provides a framework around which these maverick thinkers can ‘play’ then who knows what can happen?

D’you know what I mean?

Next time you find yourself talking yourself out of trying something you’ve been dying to test out, give it a chance. Explore the possibilities with those who can support you and let them see your passion and energy. That’s the first step. You figure out the second that’ll work for you. Go for it! And those of you in positions of leadership? When is the last time you let a maverick thinker really come out to play? If you haven’t, how long do you think they’ll stick around?

Donna Karlin

*Note: Welcome 131 country subscriber from Guatemala. We hope you stick around for a long time to come and join into the conversation.

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