Most businesses have rules. There may be rules connected with dress code, rules for engaging the client, and rules for how the product or service will be built and delivered. Organizational rules are often designed for two purposes, to keep things in check and maintain the status quo.
Rules are probably a good idea. We had them on the playground as children, we had them (hopefully) in our home, and now we face them in the workplace and as part of society.
In business though, the status quo can be problematic. In many cases, we need to think about changing our logic, changing the way we have learned our entire life.
Businesses often need great leaders, and great leaders sometimes have to break the rules. This doesn’t mean that they do something unethical or break what we all know as the formality of law, but it means they stand up and do something different.
We’ve seen examples of breaking the status quo with Erin Brockovich, we know of it through political challenges such as those pursued by Annie Kenney, and even the founding and establishment of the United States required breaking some rules.
Recently, our news has been littered with examples of rules broken and the status quo changed. A recent example that has almost become a daily occurrence with public figures involves Matt Lauer. People are speaking up, a form of a rule broken, the status quo changed.
The status quo is easy. It is breaking the cycle that is challenging.
Most of the rules in our organizations today are designed to protect something. Protect the flow of work, protect the individuals, and to protect the integrity and quality of the brand. Those aren’t bad rules, they are arguably good ones.
However, following the rules is about mind-set. It is a framework that we’ve learned our entire life.
What is so much fun about a well-managed brainstorming session? You get to break the rules.
Leaders Rise Up
Perhaps the best leadership exists in an environment where organizational rules are open to challenge and the status quo shattered.
Is it time to allow the rebel inside to rise up? Should you explore a different path, break a barrier or frame, metaphorically throw the organizational rulebook out the window?
Let’s not forget about the path that was examined a couple of years ago but was quickly discarded because it stepped beyond the status quo.
Speed of Business
We often talk about time related to speed, “Where did the time go?” or “Time flies,” are common expressions. The speed of business has never been more important.
We need leaders who appropriately devour the status quo.
Imagine if we make the difference sooner, or first.
What does that look like?
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.