One of Tesla’s first employees from Apple was George Blankenship, who made the leap in 2010 after helping to create the company’s retail stores. Musk hired him to do the same for Tesla. “Everything Tesla did was unique for the auto industry,” says Blankenship …. “If you go back to Apple 15 years ago whenever I started there, basically everything we did there was counter to the industry as well,” he says. Technology, Bloomberg Businessweek, Feb 9, 2015.
I’ve long concluded that if what I’m doing isn’t bothering someone because it is going against what we’ve done in the past, then I’m clearly not doing anything new or novel. One of the indicators that we may be onto something new is that it goes against the standard practices and that we get significant pushback from the powers that be.
Now don’t get me wrong. We need lots of people doing the things we know help our business to do well every day. But if the business or the project is not going well, then fixing it almost always has the characteristic of going against and being counter to what the organization has done in the past. This is especially true in organizations that have a long history of delivering products and projects late to market and with questionable quality. This applies equally to government institutions that work quietly out of the spotlight and hence get little or no light shined upon inefficient and ineffective routine practices.
See in addition Disrupt The Project To Make The Big Improvements
If we want to make a difference we often if not always have to take a chance and put ourselves and our careers at risk. Not everyone is willing to do this but for those folks who are willing to take the chance, then we will be going through some very tough times working outside the norm.
Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are just two highly visible examples of people who took chances. There are millions more scattered throughout organizations that do this, on a smaller stage, everyday. They are the ones who keep the company relevant and competitive over the long term. Choose to be successful on any stage and that pretty much means running counter to what everyone else is doing.
Compare with The Straight A Student And Project Success
Is what you are doing pushing beyond the boundaries of what is considered normal and acceptable in your organization?