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Game Changer – Technological change is exponential

By Gaylin Jee –
This is the fourth and final post in our Game Changer Series.
In our last post, Why do game changers leave organisations?, we spoke about enabling game changing contributions in your organization, through recognizing game changers and giving them some latitude for experimentation. We also alluded to the fact that there is more to innovation-infused, blue ocean futures than just enabled game changers.
game changer post 4
‘Innovation heroes will not produce the competitive edge required for what lies ahead. Innovation hubs are likely to fall short too, as the pace of change accelerates and technological advancement amplifies. We need game changing teams in our organisations to deliver innovation-as-usual.”
A second report published by leading psychologists in the UK revealed that in reality, we need the contribution of another 4 role players, in addition to that of the blue sky and disruptive game changer. Each role brings unique value to the final, meaningful output.
The roles and contributions of the game changing team are as follows:

  • Game Changers who transform our future; they bring radical ideas and the obsession to make them a reality,
  • Strategists who map the future; they provide the business case,
  • Implementers who build the future; they get things done and are good reality checkers,
  • Polishers create a future to be proud of; they drive excellence and perfection,
  • Play Makers orchestrate the future; they bring direction and focus to activity, getting the best from individuals and teams. They enable others to shine.

When viewed in this way, we see that not everyone is a game changer, but that’s not what’s important.  Everyone can make a critical contribution to a game changing output.
This work steers us in a notably good direction.

  1. It challenges traditional views on talent. In the past we prized those good at strategy and implementation. Our organisations, with their corporate ladders, are still largely designed to reward them. It is clear now that we need to think about different ways of attracting, rewarding and engaging those who don’t fit our molds. For example, game changers who drive radical innovation, and polishers who drive incremental innovation.
  2. It gives us a framework for building the teams who can practically hope to seed and deliver on an innovation-as-usual culture, taking advantage of the opportunity that rapid change presents and actively catalyzing new ways of doing things.
  3. Because the roles are marked out by preferred ways of contributing, or what we call proclivity, we get a little closer to accepting that flow at work might just be a workable reality. We had become almost too used to showing up to what the organization needed. Incredible innovations don’t happen from just showing up. And business needs that ‘incredible’. Watch Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s TED talk on FLOW.

“Technological change is exponential. We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century—it will be more like 20,000 years of progress.” – Ray Kurzweil, Co-founder of Singularity University.
Organisations will wake up to innovation from the inside out. So too will individuals.
There is a different future out there, and we have more opportunity than ever before to go after it. Game changer thinking is one lens on how to do that.
Coming up later in March, a new series on deconstructing analytics in HR.

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