When looking back to my career path I now realize that I have never wanted to fit in, what I wanted was to make companies evolve and do things in different ways. You are probably saying “what a crazy lady” yep! It was and is tough, and I must admit that as a young employee at these companies, even though responsible and having some autonomy over big teams and budgets, I had not had the right power to change the corporate culture or mentalities. Yesterday, in a job interview I realized that I really tried to change it. I changed the way my team behaved and also some of the rules that I faced as business unit manager, that way I was trying to show a simple thing: there are several ways to do the same thing more efficiently and with better results. I do not like mainstreams I prefer to combine old and new approaches to design renewed solutions or plans or processes or wherever I am doing. Regardless my efforts and even though I was able to achieve my goals in the majority of the cases I was not able to change mentalities.
I strongly believe that the future is for those who want to challenge the way things are done and that want to be creative and innovative. I believe in uniqueness as a strong way to be competitive. However, I also believe that companies are not prepared for this, they are still dependent on control and old fashion processes and mechanisms. In an easy way and using a common saying: “they are still inside the box”. What they haven’t understood yet it is that inside the box the “oxygen” will soon not be enough for everybody leading companies to a slow and unavoidable dead. They will die due to lack of freshness and creativity.
Obviously, there are always rules to follow and (corporate) cultural aspects to respect nevertheless, in the end you can be a follower or leader. You can lead people and empower them to have a choice and to decide what they want to be. Or you follow what others tell you to do. Society is changing, the way people interact and communicate are no longer the same. The world is becoming flat, info travels at light speed and reach increased from a neighbor to global basis. Isn’t this amazing? Yes it is, but to live in this society you need different skills and tools, in my opinion you need to understand the big picture, not being afraid of thinking creatively and outside the box, bridge needs with solutions, and be able to motivate people to collaborate and share by inspiring them. Some of them will feel empowered and will want to be leaders too.
And you, what do you think? Do you prefer to fit in or to challenge the way thing are done?