Essere manager, maverick o entrambi?

Importance of SCI

Da un post recente su LinkedIn i consigli di colleghi internazionali sulla scelta tra una carriera da manager e/o da maverick. Come al solito, la verità sta nel mezzo: a volte, una punta di pensiero non convenzionale, sia nella vita personale sia in quella professionale, può aprire a nuovi orizzonti e far ragionare usando diverse prospettive. A voi trovare il giusto equilibrio e la vostra dimensione!

(...) Your career is brand new, or at least new-ish. If you haven’t already, you may soon choose whether you want to become a manager or a maverick.


Being a manager is an honourable job. You can rise through the ranks and execute your ever-growing responsibilities with distinction. Your business trips will become longer-distance and more exotic; your expense account will expand; you will upgrade from cheap motels to business hotels, then from standard rooms to the club floor. You will not have guaranteed lifetime employment — no one does — but you will enjoy as much job security as an employee can reasonably hope.

(...) Usually, if you work competently and amicably in a company, you can become a manager. Or, you could become a maverick. When we say “maverick,” we do not mean a troublemaker, contrarian, loner, loser, or outsider. We mean someone who thinks differently, eyes a longer-term future, and focuses on outsmarting the company’s competition. (...)

You will face The Formula.

The Formula refers to a strategy that worked well for your company in the past. Corporate assumes it will keep working forever or until the CEO retires, whichever comes first. The essence of being a maverick is to challenge conventional wisdom. (...)

Our advice: Take one step at a time. Build a reputation as a person who asks good questions; but not too many, and not too pointed.

You will see the benchmarking ritual.

Companies copy each other’s “best practices.” (...)

Our advice: Consider whether your company can better compete by emulating others’ activities or by looking for ways to differentiate. Remember, too, that benchmarking and emulating your competitors means your company will always walk a step behind them.

You must never run out of numbers.

Your company’s dedication to data-driven decisions means that every presentation you make will be judged by its data, not by its logic. (...) You need numbers to go with your (somewhat) pointed “What if?” questions.

Our advice: Experi­ment with simple, plausible projections that give an idea of what your company could do. Don’t make things too fancy, complex, or aggressive. Give just enough information to show you’ve got an idea worth pursuing.

The Formula, ritualistic benchmarking, and demands for data present you with a dilemma: How can you explore unconventional ideas in an environment committed, however unintentionally, to conventional thinking? How can you innovate in a company where senior managers’ opinions count so much more than yours?

To resolve the dilemma, you need allies and you need patience.

Your allies are other unconventional thinkers in the company. Find them. (They might be hiding.) Create a forum where you can all explore ideas. Play devil’s advocate. Expand your horizons by asking, “Why would a smart person do X?” Role-play competitors, customers, and others to see the world through their eyes. Prevent confirmation bias by looking for evidence that you’re wrong, not just evidence that you’re right. You will learn how to think critically and strategically, how to see what others don’t, and how to compete. 

Patience will help you endure dysfunctions like those mentioned above. Remember that resistance to your ideas is not personal. Understand the impossible pressures put on executives who must produce short-term results without fail, while also planning for, or at least talking about, grand long-term visions. Think about how the world looks to them. (...)



Tags: MC&TI Riflessioni