Simon Terry

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The Art of the Unreasonable

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Every day I deal with unreasonable people. I wish there were more of them.

Unreasonable clients

The unreasonable people I meet are those executives, entrepreneurs and other change makers who are trying to change their organisations, to create new products or who are trying to make the world more human. These individuals don’t want to hear that it is hard, or that success is unlikely or that they are unlikely to see rewards.

These individuals are purposeful and all they want is help to bring their unreasonable visions into being. Willingness to persist is what ensures that they will succeed. They want to know they are not alone and that there are people to help them deliver their visions of the future.

Unreasonable partners

In addition to conversations with my clients and prospects, I am exposed to the unreasonableness of Change Agents Worldwide.  It is entirely unreasonable to believe that you could form an effective consulting and thought leadership network full of smart, highly capable and rightfully busy people without any traditional forms of central coordination.  However, Change Agents Worldwide delivers, constantly challenges itself to do better and the community is prepared to engage because the purpose of a better future of work is unreasonable, but necessary.

My respect for that group and others like it is huge because the network views spreading unreasonableness as part of the mission.  You only have to look at the extraordinary Executive Change Agents who are trying to make change in some of the largest corporations in the world, often solely on their personal authority.

If your organisation does not have people like these, why not? What are you doing to champion them, enable them or hire more?

Unreasonable inspiration

Unreasonableness inspires me. Do Lectures Australia was full of people willing to believe that they could deliver the extraordinary if they just started small and they started now. Social enterprises are another haven of the unreasonable as people seek to use the levers of business to address the challenges of the world. Social movements, like Change Day, inspire me, because they ask people to seek to make a difference and are led by unreasonable people, like Helen Bevan and Mary Freer. Artist are another inspiring source of an unreasonable view of the world.

What is inspiring you to be more unreasonable? What in your organisation shows others that more is possible, new thoughts are allowed and that more can be done?

Unreasonable change

We can’t change settled management practices without unreasonableness.  We can’t create more customer centred organisations within the bounds of what we define internally as acceptable or our accountabilities. We can’t make our organisations better for customers and society on the sensible practices of the past. If we want to be more responsive, we need to be a little unreasonableness.

If we want to lead, we need to be a little unreasonable in our expectations and actions.

There are more than enough forces in our world to encourage the normal, the static, the secure and the stable. Most people find it hard enough to win the support of their boss. Let’s foster the unreasonable.

Go find someone who wants to be unreasonable. Help them. Spread the contagion. That unreasonable purpose is the best engine of change.

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Note: GBS = George Bernard Shaw. 

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