Thinking out of the box is not a given. Often this requires brainstorming rules that permit all ideas. These rules guide idea generation given the “safe-harbor” guidelines. But have you noticed that idea generation comes easier for some people?
And it’s not so much the creative gene but, rather, the respectful ambivalence these mavericks have for the status quo. Mavericks aren’t necessarily rebels or anti-authority. I know because I am a proud maverick. These mavericks, representing a small slice of society, are naturally dreaming of possibilities as if there were no borders or fences.
When borders are dropped, many concerns arise. Chief among them is regulatory compliance. But these rules of creative engagement can address this concern and the lingering fear that change represents failure in the current state.
The purpose of change is to move from a current competitive position to a future robustness and relevance. Change, like its cousin failure, is a process from old ways that are less impactful, to new plans that germinate sustainable performance in the long run. Central along this continuum is a maverick’s input.
While mavericks might bristle personalities, mavericks usually care intensely about an organization’s relevance. Reverse your thinking that mavericks have big egos; rather mavericks have a large need to contribute. We should not confuse a probing discussion with a concrete direction. Simply because a discussion seems creative, fantastic, doesn’t imply acceptance or direction.
Thinking out of the box implies good communication and a healthy culture. Censorship of ideas is as if the world stays the same. It’s often the mavericks that understand well the notion of competition. Embrace mavericks for their unbridled minds, innovative ways and for venturing beyond the edges of the known.