Be a workplace rebel: Changing your company from within

Rebel talent can drive innovation, but don’t let your good ideas fall into a pothole

 

It’s time for companies to embrace their rebel talent as a way to foster innovation, employee engagement and change from within.

But what happens when a brave employee decides to challenge organisational conformity before the company has embraced the idea of rebel talent? The employee is often on her own, making it up as she goes along, often tripping over organisational potholes and stepping on cultural land mines.

We’ve found that no matter the organisation, rebels trying to advance good ideas are susceptible to making several common errors. Here are the top pitfalls for you to avoid if you’re a rebel at work trying to break through.

1. Failing to prioritise your ideas

2. Going solo

3. Flunking the pitch meeting

4. Giving up too soon

5. Ignoring personal danger signals

Lastly, don’t make the mistake of thinking that your career or reputation hinges on one particular idea or cause. Creativity is a renewable source of energy for rebels – if this idea doesn’t work out, another one will. – Copyright Harvard Business Review 2016

Lois Kelly and Carmen Medina are co-authors of Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change From Within and co-founders of rebelsatwork.com

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