Six ways to transform your team into disruptors

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Disruption has become a buzzword for businesses around the globe in recent years, with new technologies forcing workforces to adapt in order to metaphorically survive.

But does your team have what it takes to respond rapidly and sufficiently to new disruptions?

Graham Winter, bestselling author ofThink One Team, shared his tips on leading a workforce in the right direction.

He claimed that the following six things might help to lead your team to be disruptors, or at least nimble adaptors:

1. Find the secret

We live in an age of information overload, bombarded with data 24/7.

“We are most certainly sharing and it’s on a global scale that’s faster, more frequent and, some would argue, less meaningful than ever before,” Winter said.

“The importance of focus can’t be underestimated as we must navigate through the distractions of ‘always being on’.”

“Fast disruptors know that technology can be duplicated, but there is one thing that can’t be. In a disruptive world the secret to success remains what it was thousands of years ago: the ability of people to work together towards a shared purpose.”

2. Make the secret scalable

While technology and globalisation continue to disrupt the business landscape, they are not so much reinventing teamwork in their wake, but rather scaling it as a capability and culture.

Winter said that the typical 2015 company has people dispersed across multiple locations, and issues arising at the speed of light – which is why teamwork makes the business more than the sum of its parts.

“Great teamwork scaled across the business makes anything possible,” he said.

3. Accelerate and share the learning

Business is consumer driven, which means that our teams must be agile, innovative and constantly learning how to optimise that experience for a customer who has abounding choice.

“Shared learning is the key because working alone or in silos of expertise reduces learning, growth and creativity,” Winter said. “When there is no one to challenge us we simply don’t leverage our experience and ideas.”

4. Escape the gravity of hierarchy and structure

Daniel Pink, acclaimed business thought leader, argues that we are now in the Conceptual Age, in which right brain thinking reigns supreme.

“The disruptive companies are the enterprises more than organisations, unencumbered by the gravity of organisational hierarchy, process and division,” said Winter.

“They play like they’re in the Age of the Entrepreneur: those risk-ready, nimble, well-connected folk who thrive on change.

5. Harness the power of the whole team

The leaders of the most successful disruptive companies share their vision and move others to see it too, said Winter.

“They’re marvellous storytellers, connecting with others who in turn connect with them,” he explained. “They inspire people to think as one team, to move as one team and to learn as one team.”

6. Share the truth

“The disruptors share the reality,” Winter said. “They are not afraid of the truth. In fact, what they fear most are hidden agendas, silos and the status quo.

“As in professional sport, they make sure the whole team knows whether they have won or lost and why. The focus is always on what is best for the business, even if getting to the marrow of this takes some tough conversations.

“The leaders insist that they be challenged. They embrace feedback and tap into the power of their people, because a good idea can come from anywhere.”
  • Marcus McCarthy on 18/11/2015 11:13:11 AM

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article. Contrary to what the pundits are saying - 'disruption' and 'NewLaw' are not constituted by a fixed pricing strategy, a particular segment focus, or even selling documents online. The only real 'disruption' going on right now is the redesign of the structure of the law firm itself, and the self-styled experts are missing this aspect entirely. There is real confusion about what really constitutes NewLaw and a lack of awareness of the real innovation that is already occurring in the market. I believe some of the 'expert' commentators are largely responsible for this confusion by their focus on clever marketing strategy instead of structural reform. This is breeding fear and uncertainty about NewLaw rather than helping drive the firms delivering positive structural reform (for lawyers). Positive disruption creates a better basis for the practice of modern law. It is achieved by starting with an open and transparent approach to reforming the structure of the law firm model itself, not a traditionally organised firm tinkering at the edges with a service or pricing strategy. Many traditional firms, including large ones, are now jumping on the bandwagon and pretending to be 'NewLaw' with nothing more than a clever marketing strategy and for a large part, the market has fallen for it - think the various top tiers delivering side businesses to service the secondment segment as a response to NewLaw rather than as an example of it. 'NewLaw' and 'disruption' are already becoming meaningless buzzwords with various firms desperately trying to portray that face but very few are actually engaged in the business of restructuring the practice of law itself. Look through the marketing hype and consider who out there is really doing something new and different - they are the ones who will ultimately (hopefully) shift the industry to a better practice future and the smartest lawyers are those who get ahead of that curve. Graham Winter has hit the nail on the head with this article.

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