What Is A Maverick Thinker?
As a maverick thinker, you have to come up with solutions to help organisations to continue doing what they already are doing and at the same time innovate new ideas by thinking way, way outside the so called box. This requires maverick thinker to focus on non-linear thinking and being able to tie the past, the current and the future together to arrive at a balance so the organisation can forge ahead and make strategic headway’s in order to be able to leap frog its competition with the actionable innovations.
A maverick thinker will have come from a strategic back ground a typical role would have been a strategic advisor to leaders and coming with creative ideas to focus 10, 20 and 30 years ahead on a given industry or product and then create ideas that are innovating and ground breaking to springboard the organisation forward before any of its competitors do.
Why Institution Are Slow To Change And Innovate?
Take most of the bigger institution including local and central government along with our educations institutions right through to universities in most western countries and ask yourself why are they not innovating at all?
One of the biggest reason these big institutions very rarely innovate is that the legal Red Tape that holds them back from making any progress what so ever. This is something the corporate lawyers have done deliberately to ensure they have a steady revenue stream coming in from these large institutions to feed their own personal greed which is the main reason preventing them from innovating. Innovation means fewer legislations which in reality is less need for lawyers and the law makers. Which is totally on the flip side of the coin for maverick thinkers.
All the above would rather give you 101 reasons why they can’t rather than half a dozen reasons why they can and will innovate and are open to change.
Innovate or Regulate
This is not to say a maverick thinker would find it impossible to turn these institutions in to innovators, but first thing that will have to go would be the red tape the bureaucratic regulations would have to be simplified as most institution have one hand and in some cases both hands tied behind their backs and are expected to perform, which is a real shame, Yes a maverick thinker is more than capable of keeping the existing structure and innovating in institutions if they were allowed in, in the first place. I personally have found it very hard to break into these institutions because of all the red tape created by lawyers, who would rather regulate everything possible rather than innovate. Innovation in most cases is disruptive to marketplaces, which is good for most but bad for others.
One example I will share is the old method of recruiting new intakes each year for each university, the methods employed are so out dated that it is a total that it costs more to recruit each year, but each university does exactly like the other, as they have done for over 50 years plus, go check a university out and see how they recruit in today’s world. Another group of people who are over regulated are the layback academia professors and PhD’s all living in the past.
Danger Of Maverick Thinkers
The average maverick thinkers can at time be too dangerous for organisations as they tend to come up too many ideas and innovative ways forward for most organisations. But it is up to the leaders of these organisations to decide on which and how many of the new initiatives to run with at any given time as they can be a drain on resources in the early stages until enough momentum can be built up to see if it is viable or not to continue. So it is worth testing a small number of not more than two to three ideas at a time and seeing the return on investment and the direction it will take the organisation without losing focus of what it is already doing that is paying the bills. The choice is always to innovate rather than regulate.
Creating A Framework
Like I said Maverick Thinkers can be like loose cannons at times if you are not careful they can destroy an organisation or help make it fortunes. So the easiest way to make sure that you benefit more from the upside rather than face any downsides is to create a framework within which the Maverick Thinker has to work within but don’t tie his hand or chop off his legs as you will not see the results at their best. Once the ground rules have been established then go to work with them with a small team and take note of their thinking and their innovative ideas which you will never experience anywhere else or from anyone else. These maverick thinkers are called that for a reason.
You have to be prepared to take an element of risk when working with maverick thinkers because that is what makes them more creative and innovative with the ideas they come up with. So risk will always be there, but you have to be prepared to take a calculated chance or a rival competitor will and several years down the road you will be kicking yourself for not having tested what was a great idea as indicated by the maverick thinker or the strategic advisor.
Your total focus should be on what can be achieved to build a better organisation going forward into the future rather than what if we don’t do anything and end up like Blockbusters, the Woolworths and the Kodak’s of the world. I personally like running free without any framework to start off with to get all the initial ideas out into the open and let the leadership team see them all and then create a framework to create and innovate more within the confinements of the new framework.
Work with a Maverick thinker
If you have never worked with a strategic advisor or a Maverick thinker then it will be an experience you will never forget and will never want to go back to doing things the old way. Be prepared for lots nonlinear thinking.Personally having worked with some of the top 100 FTSE (British Listed Companies) leaders to help create some of their top strategies going forward by being the original maverick thinker working with the leadership teams.
Be The Hunter or The Hunted
Nonlinear thinking is what sets the innovative thinkers and doers verses the stander linear thinkers who never change but eventually die off and become food for the nonlinear thinkers.
At the end of the day you can wait around until you get hunted or become the hunter instead, the choice is yours as a leader to make. To contact me about setting up a Strategy day with me and your team and some real maverick thinking to see where the future of your industry as a whole is heading and what steps you need to ensure that you are the hunter, click on this link.
Strategic Advisor & Mentor to FTSE 100 Leaders