Amercian novelist and social critic James A. Baldwin is responsible for one of our favourite quotes, “The future is like Heaven. Everyone exhalts it, but no-one wants to go there now.”
It speaks to the recognised human condition that rather than grasping the potential of something different and life changing for the better, we often hang on to what we know or have, no matter how bad it may be.
Our approach to helping business leaders to make decisions is refreshing. We use intuitive, creative processes that are steeped in collaborative practice. That’s what many of the inspiring leaders of our time are saying is essential for disruptive thinking, good execution and creating a winning “employer of choice” culture for modern, forward-thinking companies. Tick the box.
However it doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. The risk appetite to change the way things are done varies between people and organisational cultures. Mostly, risk appetite is low (see para. 2 above). Perhaps it’s why we find benchmark innovators and entrepreneurial companies so easy to identify. Their management teams have taken a punt (albeit a calculated one) and have developed a plan to disrupt their chosen field to deliver a special value that their customers will support and buy in droves:
- Sir Freddie Laker launched Skytrain in the 1970’s, the first low cost airline model now copied and innovated successfully by Ryanair, JetBlue, Jetstar and many others around the world.
- Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin made bold strategic decisions to innovate social media into mainstream communication methods.
- Google, Apple and LEGO created radical working environments to stimulate creativity and leverage diversity for business growth.
These disruptions might begin with an idea in the shower by charismatic leader but they are developed and discussed by the power of many brains and alternative thinkers who build on each other’s contributions to reach critical game-changing decision points. Buy-in and alignment is there right from the beginning.
If you’re interested in disruptive ideas, start by questioning how decisions get made in your organisation. Are they by top-down “telling & selling” by one or two individuals or are decisions made through a process of true consultation and a culture of co-creation from a wider pool of opinions and experiences?
Is it time to adjust your risk appetite and disrupt your own internal decision making processes? We don’t have to risk everything to go to our heavenly future but a little courage for a disruptive decision making experience can get your feet firmly on the first rung of the ladder!
What do you know that holds back organisations from developing disruptive decision making? What do you know works well? Please share your insights.