Where are our curious disruptors?

This blog will start with a confession. I am a curious disruptor. One of my favourite questions is why? One of my preferred ways of fixing something is to get disruptive.

Why are curious disruptors important?
They are the people who bring about a change in attitude, culture, and bravery. They are the people that empower. Mainly through their actions and people seeing what they are doing and achieving. But also they bring hope, they allow others to see that the status quo, the “that’s how things are done here” can be challenged and changes can be made.

They are a glimmer of light that confirms to colleagues there can be a different way. They are the people who get talked about and that their successes become the foundations for others to build upon.

Without them we continue on the path of same old same old.

But their greatest importance is their resilience. They will have many failures for the few successes that you see. None of those failures will have had any effect on their curiosity, if anything they will have fuelled it more, made them curious as to why they failed.

So what do I mean?
What is a curious disruptor (my definition anyway)?

Someone who sees an issue, digs around, asks questions (mostly the Why? based questions) and then tries to find a solution. They will make suggestions, gather information, discuss with colleagues, and investigate. They gather information and make recommendations.

They will gather likeminded people around them, in many cases not intentionally, but they will form groups. These may be close colleagues who join their quest, or they may be colleagues from elsewhere in the organisation who want to emulate their good work.

As well as disrupting they will be spreading the word and this will be heard. People who are wanting to know that improvement is what we do here will hear their examples, reach out to find out how they did it. Their curiosity will drive them to deliver their own improvements.

Quite often they will find themselves as accidental role models. I say accidental because in the way of compassionate leaders they are fairly altruistic and chasing the greater good. Wanting to deliver improvement, not necessarily to be recognised as the bringer of change, just wanting to improve situations.

Ok, so you can see the curious element of it, but why the disruptor?
Disruptor because they are tenacious, they will keep raising and discussing the issue and trying to find a route to resolution. As part of this they may identify other issues earlier in the process and pause their original quest to address these issues and deliver more improvement.

They are tenacious and when they find blockers they look for other routes, they add to their scope and they push on. They disrupt all around them, colleagues, systems, processes, established thinking. All of it from that curiosity and mostly from those Why? Questions.

A note of caution
So if all of that has got you excited and questioning if you know any curious disruptors or even if you are a dormant curious disruptor waiting to be awakened I wanted to add a note of caution.

It is a fine line between being a chaotic disrupter and just being chaotic. Don’t lose sight of why you started, that the goals are and that the main focus is on improvement, making things better for those around you be

Do you suffer from ANTS?

At this point we may be talking about different Ants, I am not talking about the small, hard working, itch provoking insect ants, no definitely not. The ANTS I am referring to are Automatic Negative Thoughts.

This is something that affects me massively and in conjunction with my Imposter Syndrome can leave me with crippling self doubt and almost incapable of working. Tasks that I know I am more than capable of completing seem impossible. Continue reading

Reach and Impact

How often do we ever give any thought to our reach and impact?
As a person, friend, family member or colleague?

For me I am usually too busy being me, helping out, guiding, coaching, mentoring and just doing what I can to really spare too much brainpower on wondering how wide is my reach and what is my impact.

Recently two things happened which changed that.  Continue reading

Plan versus Reality

I am a great believer in fate, the concept that things happen for a reason. Often I will tell people that there is always a reason, sometimes it just takes us a while to understand it.

Also I am always telling people that strength often means being able to adapt and continue, that those that we think of as strong are in fact just good at adapting and changing their plans to match their changed situation. Continue reading

Social media – How to get it right?

Now you may have stumbled across this post and be thinking, wow, this is what I have been looking for. Someone is going to tell me how I use social media well and get lots of interaction.

Well I am going to start off by disappointing you. I am really asking the question not giving an answer. The reason for this being that social media is a mystery to me really. Continue reading

Role models – what are they and how do we choose them

This is a post I promised a lot of people I would write a long time ago, the draft was started in March, and I sit here in June completing it. So what took me so long? This post more than ever I wanted to get right, but then I realised it never would be, so I just need to get on and post it.

Role models are a common thread in my posts, often referred to as a colleague, an old boss, or named role models. My life and career has been influenced massively by role models, good and bad. Continue reading

Hiding in plain sight

This is a blog post I have been thinking about all day, the subject was a suggestion from a friend. As a result I have been wracking my brain for examples from my own life. Interestingly I remembered examples that show both sides of this post.

The post is around how we deal with the prospect of blending in, not being noticed, not standing out from the crowd, and the opposite standing out to blend in. Once I flicked past all of the times I have done this in my personal life (this post would be huge if we went into all of those) I focussed more around work. Continue reading