Many of my clients like to tell me about their “rock stars” - those employees who have fresh ideas and the high energy levels required to implement them. Yet, when I visit HR departments and look at their antiquated processes, I’m always amazed by the number of times I’m told “but this is the way it’s always been done.” It’s sort of like classical music; it has been performed in much the same way for centuries. That’s not a bad thing for music, but it doesn’t work in business.
The most successful musicians aren’t performing the same music the same way as in years past, they’re really rocking the boat, pushing the limits and trying new things. Have you seen Lady Gaga? Successful professionals are constantly looking for ways to reinvent themselves and the work that they do.
Years ago, I worked with a management consultant who told me that no matter how well organized our company was, we would never sound like a symphony. But, he did say that if we hired great talent, provided them with a common vision, and allowed them to improvise that we could have some really cool jazz. Give your “rock stars” the latitude to experiment with their work. Whether you like jazz or rock ’n roll, it’s time to innovate and experiment.
When was the last time you tried something new, inventive, or off the wall? I’m not suggesting that HR folks start wearing clothes made out of meat to work, but I do think that it may be time to rock the boat a bit.