Essential to creating a disruptive culture is to promote and cultivate independent thinkers. Companies that thrive in times of radical disruption drastically reinvent themselves by:
- Clearly seeing the changing environment
- Openly discussing the implications of disruption
- Embracing (inventing and adopting) new ideas
- Employing new blood (and listening to them and all stakeholders)
- Not falling victim to psychological biases (such as group think) which keep them in old paradigm thinking
- Ensuring the culture is constantly transforming
- Not falling victim to fear
- Going up the levels of thinking
When children develop their brains they go through identifiable phases of capacity. For some people this doesn’t stop when we reach adulthood. In fact while 75% of the population stay in lower levels of consciousness and thought capacity, 25% (known as the independent thinkers or cultural creatives) grow into new levels of awareness and maturity.
Finding and supporting your independent thinkers
As the majority, this 25% have traditionally hidden their differences in an attempt to fit in and not be punished for their dissimilarities. Many have left traditional organisations and started their own businesses. Others survive at work and develop their potential in out-of -work activities. Even so around 20-25% of people in organisations are independent thinkers.
Traditional organisational change programmes try to change the 75% of people who make up the mass of the organisation. This 75% is so invested in staying the same they fight and resist change at all costs. However the 25% embrace change (if it makes sense to them). So the way to get rapid and strategically effective change is to find and empower the 25% of people who want to change – the people who are already at higher levels of functionality.
If these people are given support by way of training, resources and leadership of strategically important projects, they will thrive. They will also serve as role models of what is required. Then the 75% want to change – they will want to have and enjoy the benefits they see being appreciated by their higher thinking confreres. People will not go through transformation unless they want to.
Make transformation the goal
Creating transformation as the goal can turn ‘the impossible’ into ‘the possible’. The trick then is to make available to those who want it – a number that will increase over time – training resources that allow them to go up the levels of thinking. If we, as most organisational change programs do, concentrate on behaviour we will simply be getting lower level thinkers to operate a little bit better, If on the other hand, we get people to raise their consciousness and think at higher levels then they will adopt behaviours that reinforce innovation and promote transformation
To create a disruptive culture we must look at the psychological blocks that stop people from entering transformation. We must find, empower and reward those who are ready for independent leadership.