A Different Kind of Bird: Promoting Breakthrough Thinking

graphic that says a different kind of bird - promoting breakthrough thinking

“That’s just the way we’ve always done it.”
“Why can’t you do it like the rest of us.”
“You don’t think like the rest of us.”
“Your ideas are a little TOO creative ~ if you know what I mean.”
“You should just keep a lid on it if you want to get anywhere around here.”
“Just do as your told and everything will turn out fine.”
“You march to a different drum.”

Any of these sound familiar? I can tell you that statements like these have helped me make the decision to walk away from several high-paying jobs or clients.

Too many companies end up losing high potential employees because they try to change them, make them fit in, or hold back their creative genius once they get them in the door. Most times its like trying to put a square peg in a round hole. Why not use their strengths, gifts, talents and eccentricities to help grow and evolve your business and perhaps even get into new markets?

Diversity of styles, creative thought processes, and opinions can lead to healthy and important debate. When breakthrough thinking is welcomed and encouraged, you ensure the most creative ideas and solutions to common workplace problems. In addition, employees feel heard, valued, and recognized for how and what they contribute. However, if your company imposes lock-step thinking and discourages employees from disagreement and debate, then you can be sure that you are limiting the exploration of new ideas, new markets, new products and services as well as the potential risk factors that can impact your business success.

Use these simple steps in your business to start doing a better job of appreciating differences and encouraging breakthrough thinking:

  1. Create an environment where healthy debate and differences of opinion/styles is encouraged by setting clear expectations
  2. Allow for brainstorming but keep it to a time limit!
  3. Reward, recognize and thank those who are willing to speak up and assert their opinion no matter how “out in left field” it may be
  4. Always, always ask thought provoking questions such as:
    1. Is there other ways of doing this?
    2. Are there alternatives to this solution that might use less resources or take less time?
    3. Is there a different way to looking at this issue?

Remember, breakthrough thinking, creativity and differences should be valued and not discouraged in the workplace.

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