Becoming a Crusader, Intrapreneur, Maverick or Innovator

One of my colleagues recently reminded me how powerful the following quote of Mark Twain is: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, sail away from the safe harbor. Explore, Dream, Discover.”  

That quote always reminds me to the following idea which I land in my almost every coaching session: “Seize the initiative. Be a crusader. Be a volunteer. Show you have the ability and ambition to do. When you see something that you believe ought to be done, pick up the ball and run” 

Some people do it and some don’t. That is normal. The ones who do, we call them Intrapreneurs, Visionaries, Mavericks, Innovators; the ones challenging status quo. What do they have in common? Based on my observations so far, I see four common traits. Here are those four: 

  1. They embrace the reality of Constant Change and of Ongoing Uncertainty. They see this as a source of opportunity more than a source of threat. They eagerly look forward to each new wave of change and to the opportunities these bring to reinvent the business and deliver new innovations to create major impact. 
  2. They abandon traditional 20th century strategic thinking models and replace them with an ongoing responsive and continuous adaptation approach
  3. They start with customers, markets and with the future and Backcast from there. Not the other way around. They keep a close eye on with eminent threat of structural changes happening, whether those arise out of technological shifts, societal shifts or new smarter business models. 
  4. They champion the concept of market agility and drive the business toward the organizational agility it needs to quickly learn and respond to each new market shift. They don’t wait for the spirit to move them, they mode the spirit 

Intentionally a short article. Do you want to become a crusader? Start with the four above and move from there. Lots of good dreams never come true because we say, “I’ll start someday”, when we should say “I’ll start now, right now