Something came to me today as I was engaging in conversation with a colleague. In order for us to progress as human beings, organizations, and cultures, we often need to break the rules. Many individuals who have truly changed the world went against convention. These folks did indeed go against the current and often broke rules. They stood out. They were different. They were the ‘the lone reed’. Often, their ideas shocked humanity. Think Steve Jobs. Think Bill Gates. Think Ghandi. Think Madame Curie. Even think e.e. cummings!
Breaking the rules has become passe in our daily lives. Fear has set into the mindset of so many, especially in corporate America, in public schools, and in numerous institutional initiatives. We do not encourage ‘coloring outside the lines’ as this may disrupt the order of the day.
My question is this: ‘What might happen if we truly encouraged and rewarded creative, ‘out of box’ thinking? Sure, some ideas may ‘break the rules of convention’ – yet, what innovation may come from this?
In order for us to continue moving forward in our personal, professional, and corporate lives – there are time where we must stretch our muscles and often break the rules. We need to encourage our teams to do this. Erase the fear of failure or making mistakes. Give them rope and freedom. Where could this lead?