We all choose role models. I also believe that we can choose reverse-role models, people we do not want to be like… or people with specific characteristics that we do not want to inherit.
I can recall – a couple years back when I played music in different bands – meeting Dan, another musician who lit up the room when he walked in. He happily engaged with and signed autographs for anyone around him. I instantaneously decided that I wanted to also have that charisma and sense of intrigue that drew people to Dan.
Conversely, I can also recall meeting a drummer (we’ll call him Donnie) who exhibited a characteristic I absolutely did not want to inherit. After the show, I heard a kid ask Donnie how much his drums cost. Donnie replied, “Wayyyy more than your parents’ car.” Wow, not cool. I made a note of this and still recall the event 10 years later.
Here’s the point, folks: We meet people every day who exhibit characteristics that we can choose to admire or not admire. However, we can use these people as live examples of who we want to be and who we do not want to be.
Who are some people around you with features that you would love to have? What features do you see in people around you that do not go along with who you want to become?
The very people around us can, will, and do serve as guides to our future selves if we can simply open our eyes.
Last Sunday we talked about change management. I’m going to go about this article hoping that y’all have read that one (as I ask in a 4th grade teacher’s voice “has everyone done their homework???”).
In order to consistently run with change management and to be, both, proactive and reactive, it is important for a person or business’s DNA to contain a fulcrum for change management. An organization or person must remain elastic and dynamic in a changing environment and flexibility must be built into the overall schematic.
For instance, let’s pretend we run a footwear company called Renikesics. We’ve got all sorts of shoes that have remained winners throughout the years (Air Scotties?) but it is imperative that we are also trying out new things to expand the future of the company. Therefore, our product line is composed of the foundational products we’ve carried for a long time and a small segment of R & D/experimental products that may bomb or may explode (in a good way) and build our future.
This model is also important in, well, all aspects of a business or organization. An Australian software company called Atlassian has embraced this concept. Atlassian has “ShipIt” days four times a year, where every employee is given 24 hours to work on their own crazy idea. After creating and refining this idea in a frantic, energetic, and fast time-span, the employee can pitch their idea to the company’s leadership. Out of over 550 ideas pitched, 47 have been utilized in Atlassian’s products and have brought back over $2 million dollars in revenue.
So… for a relatively minute payroll allocation, Atlassian opens up their reins to change management, progress, and originality. If you think about this more critically, you will find that ShipIt days increase buy-in tremendously among the staff and promote an overall culture of progress. Atlassian is an awesome example of what more companies should be doing…
Every company needs a ShipIt day… or an R&D section of the company for having a little adventure. This needs to be a fundamental part of a company’s DNA in order to usher in the future sooner than later.