I sat the in the office of a colleague not long ago and made a comment about how I thought a particular company procedure was too bureaucratic. We’ve all been there. Maybe you haven’t voiced it out-loud, but you’ve surely thought it. My point was that it wasn’t necessary to go through all this “stuff” to get to real objective of the process. It was a case where checking a box on a to-do list had become greater than what you were trying to achieve.
But what came next was one of those life stopping moments. My colleague said “What? Do you think you can change it?”. It was said not as a challenge to create change, but as a cynical reply to admit that this is just the way it is and that I wasn’t big enough to change it. The response brought back memories of conversations at home where I had said “no” to some things my kids wanted. My wife called me a “Dream Squisher.”
It’s one of the ironies of life. People are encouraged to not make waves. Just fit in. Just follow the process. Keep the status-quo. Don’t rock the boat.Yet the people and teams of people that we celebrate are those that are able to create change. Those that are able to succeed despite all the red-tape that human institutions create. Those that at one time may have been labeled “cowboys”, “insubordinate”, or “crazy”.
The classic Apple commercial made in 1997 celebrating the “crazy” ones comes to mind.
Here’s to the crazy ones: the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have respect for the status-quo. You can quote them , disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. Bout’ the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Apple Advertisement
So I ask, are you bold enough to challenge processes that have lost sight of the original objective? Are you crazy enough to dream of different and more efficient ways of solving customer needs? Are you willing to stand-up and explain your “craziness”? If so, then make your mark. Dont’ be a dream squisher. Live out-loud.