Rebels with a cause
Muse #134 - but still are outliers and will continue to be
A few days ago, I read an article that suggested that rebellious workers often sparked great ideas at work. The challenge of course in larger organizations is that there are few that truly allow workers to be rebellious.
The problem is having a culture that is capable of continuously managed rebellion. And most organizations are not ready for that kind of freedom for their employees, with the worry that too much change will topple them.
In fact, every person is capable of great ideas, it is the environment and structure that they work under that determines how far one would go. There are several examples of such rebellion happening underground in some organizations and indeed delivering successful innovation from those events, but these are generally not the norm.
That is why generally rebellious employees end up working in smaller organizations that enable such environments or in companies that have heroic leadership at the top with visionaries who are able to enable the potential of people in organizations. A third pattern is some form of Cooperative with distributed employee-ownership. Don’t take my word for it. I am trivializing the parameters here, as usual, using a reductionist approach. But if you have the time to go through a long list of such outlier companies have a look at https://corporate-rebels.com/bucketlist/ and check out for yourself which patterns these companies fit. Heroic leader enabling people or employee cooperatives. I went through the list myself and most of them fit these two patterns.
And that leads me to another prediction - none of the large corporates are capable of reengineering themselves from the command-and-control ordered hierarchy that is mostly used to be a rebellious creative ground for work. There are not too many heroic enabling leaders around like the Steve Jobs of the world who are capable of large-scale culture turnarounds (Apple is not on the Rebels list above, probably not rebellious around now, but strangely Google is). 1984 anyone?
And Steve’s list of global heroic rebel leaders:
'Positive deviants': Why rebellious workers spark great ideas - https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210528-positive-deviants-why-rebellious-workers-spark-gr-ideas
The 8 Trends (in rebellious corporations) - https://corporate-rebels.com/trends/
The Corporate Rebels bucket list - https://corporate-rebels.com/bucketlist/