A couple of weeks ago, I was reading the WSJ and an interesting article appeared on Why Divas Need to Make No Apology. The premise of the article was that healthy divas make the workplace better.
Interesting that there was such a description as “healthy diva.” I think when most people think about divas, it is mostly in a negative connotation. I would include myself in the group, but maybe I was biased. I decided to poll my network to see their reaction on “healthy divas.”
Poking a little fun at the thought of divas, I made a side comment to my coworker, “ha ha, I wonder what kind of diva I would be?”
Is disruption bad for business?
Without a beat, my coworker said, “you would be disruptive diva.” Wow, that can’t be good. Hoping this was a compliment; I began to think more about being disruptive. What made me disruptive? Disruptive by definition means to destroy usually temporarily, the normal continuance or unity. The act of disruption is to question the status quo. To raise the concern whether this project or idea is a good idea. Questioning past protocols and its impact. Check on all of the above. I do that and most meetings begin or end with, “how is this going to help us achieve our organization’s goals?”
Is questioning the norm, an indication of intelligence? For me, if I didn’t question the norm then I wouldn’t be doing my job. Sometimes shaking things up helps change your perspective and in turn create solutions you hadn’t considered and that’s the point.
So here my checklist if you interested in being disruptive. It is not about being a contrarian, but rather question “business as usual” to ultimately keep improving your business.
- Do you raise your hand to ask why?
- Do you share your vision with others?
- Do you question the norm?
- Do you challenge your colleague’s assumptions?
- Do you push the envelope?
Wear your disruptive badge of honor. Without folks like you innovation would never happen. Disruptive is vital to creativity and innovation.
Final thoughts: There are lots of articles tying disruption and change management. In 2005, Harvard Business Review wrote about secret change agents. The essence of the article was there are “positive deviants” who are challenging their organizations for the better. Perhaps the next time you’re in the meeting and your colleague is questioning you, you will reconsider this challenge as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to change your line of thinking potentially for the better.