Hallucination Leadership

false-tree-in-desert-StasieczkoOver the last decade innovation along with unprecedented creativity has allowed all industries opportunities like never before. As I look back in time there are so many examples of what was then, to what is now. The mind can easily get overloaded when you think back at all the missed opportunities. We all say, “remember when…” more and more often it seems. 

As most industries travel through times of innovation, one thing will stand out for all those on the journey. The “old” way becomes obsolete and we must have the wherewithal to embrace and manage our own deconstruction. The organizations who are more than likely forced become determined to reinvent themselves, will struggle if their reinvention does not begin with how they act, lead, and most importantly manage the expectations of the team.  We’ve witnessed both the massive growth, and the complete demise of many organizations.

History will argue whether the leadership of a particular organization caused its oblivion or its customers simply found a better way. If you’re the leader you’re at fault either way. Customer’s obviously control the acceptance of what is delivered. In today’s innovative market place we find ourselves accomplishing things in new ways, before we even realize the old way is obsolete. So why is it such a struggle for organizations to change, to modernize, and to step out of their comfort zone?  In today’s innovative world, leaders who sit on the sidelines collecting the last remaining scrapes will find themselves scrap less sooner than they imagined. Think about the print/copier industry, or the mail business. Some of Its leaders continue living in denial. They’ve convince themselves an increase in their sales is proof business is great. What they are not paying attention to is the fact that their customer for the most part has found a better way their just taking longer in adapting to it. Adaptation starts as a spark then the forest of the old way burns to the ground. All good leaders know this, where they struggle is admitting they know it. I call this “Hallucination Leadership”

Hallucination Leadership” (defined as) when leaders continue on a path toward an oasis of stability, even though they know it’s a mirage.”

Companies are merely a collection of human capital with a willingness to deliver goods, and services. The birth of an organization starts with its leadership, and will meet its cessation when leadership fails to innovate. All leaders have lived through some form of failure myself included. When organizations fail the leaders will have many reasons, and can be quite good at articulating the causes. However I believe some things must and should fail this makes room for what’s new. Good leadership understands innovation takes the ability to transform, and sometimes the complete destruction of their deliverable and its products. I heard once everything starts and everything ends. When organizations become to ingrain in what they perceive as their own greatness, this stability again perceived – will be the enemy within their walls. Arrogance to your own temporary greatness is the Trojan Horse in most organizations and industries – that one day will destroy them.

Today organizations must understand that knowing how to dissolve the old way while simultaneously building the new, will be standard practice. This will not be considered failure it will be a common path called innovation management. Today’s leaders must understand without prejudice, is “companies are merely a collection of human capital with a willingness to deliver goods and services” and the only thing that is sacred is how to monetize their deliverable. The deliverable itself will never be sacred it’s just business.

I saw an old interview with Ray Kroc he was asked if McDonald’s would still be selling hamburgers in a hundred years. His answer (paraphrased): MacDonald’s is recognized for that today, a hundred years from now I can’t say exactly what we will sell. But I believe our customers will tell us what they want.

I have thought a lot about that answer.  Ray Kroc understood nothing is permeate, and great leaders must completely understand the value and the meaning of the word currently.

Originally published at Bizcatalyst360

Ray Stasieczko

Ray Stasieczko

As Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ImageQuest, Ray Stasieczko oversees every aspect of ImageQuest’s service delivery platform. Twitter: twitter.com/RayStasieczko/

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