We are in the midst of one of the greatest change-processes of all times. Technological development and digitisation is having companies to re-invent and re-create themselves. Developmental leap-frogs, diversity, the clever use of possibilities and new combinations are the means to success in that process.
To stand the test of time as a company you need an efficient innovation management, but more importantly you need a culture that welcomes unconventional lateral thinkers on all levels and in every team. Lateral thinkers are usually one of the first ones to recognise instinctively if things run out of the rudder. They are at the forefront to discover new land, bring in a breeze of fresh air and realize the business areas of the future.
There is manifold literature pleading for an organisational structure that supports business rebels instead of suppressing them and trying to make them fit in. Lateral thinkers are of course not the ones most likely willing to be bribed by coterie. They ask substantive questions, doubt conventional actions, attack idleness relentlessly and are imaginative in thinking outside that box to make seemingly unbudgeable structures shake. So, in traditional terms you would call these people eccentric.
Todays’ lateral thinkers as well are outside the comfort zone. And still, we need these people now more than ever in our teams to move forward into the future. We need those conceptual thinkers, explorers, inventors, anarchists, activists, cross-disciplinarians and non-linear agenda-benders. So, if you are such a lateral thinker, now is your time to shine. But be mindful to use this trait for serving as a catalyst to change in the right direction. Get your head around how to best sell your asset to add a critical beneficial impact to your teams.
There are structures that hinder and such that support innovation. And supporting innovation should be at core when creating pragmatic ways to keep necessary structures and processes for good governance. But reconsider obsolete routines and give room for unconventional ideas for a different and better practice. Lateral thinkers can help you in that change process. Get them on board with an aim to channel your companies and teams’ potential.