Do you want to be
more creative, engaged and boost your energy?
Be yourself and break rules!
Throughout our lives and careers, we are taught to conform — to the status quo, to the opinions and behaviors of majority, and to information that supports our views. After a while, conformity has been so hammered into us that we stop to question the status quo.
Organizations, especially the big ones, have been focused on designing efficient processes and getting employees to follow them.
Now days, the conformity is bigger challenge than efficiency. Lack of “questioning and disruptive behavior” hurts the business.
most innovative companies promote “constructive
behavior that deviates from organizational norms, others’ actions, or common expectations, to the benefit of the organization.
FALLING IN CONFORMITY
There are three main reasons why we fall in conformity: social pressure to fit in, acceptance of status quo and interpretation of information in a self-serving manner.
What is the danger?
When majority sticks with the status quo, it can lead to boredom., which fuels complacency and stagnation. The result is people who feel they can’t be themselves on the job, are bored, and don’t consider others’ points of view. Big companies like BlackBerry or Polaroid, not to mention Kodak once had winning formulas. Overly comfortable with the status quo, they fell back on tradition and avoided the type of nonconformist behavior that could have secured their success.
In addition, we tend to prioritize information that supports our existing beliefs and to ignore information that challenges them. We also tend to view unexpected or unpleasant information as a threat and to avoid to face it — a phenomenon psychologists call motivated skepticism.
Nonconformity promotes innovation, improves performance, and enhances authority. For example, research at the Columbia Business School and Harvard, showed that observers judge a keynote speaker who wears red sneakers, a CEO who makes the rounds of Wall Street in a hoodie and jeans, and a presenter who creates her own PowerPoint template rather than using her company’s as having higher status than counterparts who conform to business norms.
Going against the crowd gives us confidence in our actions, which makes us feel unique and engaged and translates to higher performance and greater creativity.
THE CAPTAIN AND THE PIRATE IN ONE
How to encourage
and promote constructive nonconformity?
1. BE YOURSELF
a. what makes you feel authentic? What is your mission?
b. In collaboration focus on what job needs to be done rather than how to do it
others solve problems on their own
2. BRING OUT YOUR SIGNATURE STRENGTHS
3. QUESTION THE STATUS QUO
a. Ask “Why?” and “What if?”
b. Nobody is perfect
c. Urge for excellence not basics
4. CREATE CHALLENGING EXPERIENCES
a. Maximize variety
b. Try new ways of doing “old” tasks
c. What is your personal agenda for learning and growth?
d. Give others responsibility and accountability
5. FOSTER BROADER PERSPECTIVES
a. View problems from multiple angles
b. Use simple language and reduces self-serving bias
c. Engage people with diverse perspectives
6. CREATE “CONFLICT” OF OPINIONS AND PERSPECTIVES
a. Look for disconfirming evidence
b. Create different opinions by default
c. Be courageous in opposition
source: FOSTERING REBEL TALENT AT WORK, by FRANCESCA GINO