A person responsible for training innovators asked me recently how he could encourage senior leaders in his government organization to think like Rebels at Work. And I said:
You probably can't!
I just don't know too many leaders in government who are are ready to embrace their inner heretic. And approaching them directly about the need to think rebelliously is likely to lead to defensiveness.
So I suggested a different tack. Ask them:
How do you know when your tactics and strategy need refreshing?
I've yet to meet anyone who has a ready answer to that question. Or this one...
What's your process for determining when your strategic plan needs to change?
When people think about it, sometimes they volunteer that their strategic plans are refreshed at the start of their fiscal years and/or when a new senior leadership team takes over.
Now isn't that the darndest thing? Why should thinking about how things might need to be done differently be a function of the calendar? Conditions can change at a moment's notice and at any time of the year. The necessary adjustments your team needs to make might not wait twelve months...or perhaps not even thirty days. We all know that organizations that adjust more quickly to changing circumstances have a competitive advantage, and yet most don't have a method for doing so.
And that's where Rebels at Work step in. If employees on your team are encouraged to speak up when they see trouble looming or a new opportunity coming, your organization is likely to be more nimble and more successful. Along with that agility comes an added benefit: the annual strategic refresh need not be as discombobulating. Or perhaps need not occur at all.
So let's add this to the list of good questions to ask in organizations.
How do we know when our strategy needs refreshing?
Rebels at Work can help!