All posts by Nathan Ott

The Mindset Shift That Will Help You Change The Game

You’ve got a great idea. You’ve built it and grown it. But have you got the understanding of what’s required to make a game changing impact?

nathan-ott game

You’re ambitious, you’ve got several years experience working in procurement, you’ve got some great ideas, and you want to make your mark by changing the game in your team or organisation.

But, transformational change is not easy. And your past performance, or new idea, does not necessarily mean you’ll be successful in leading a project and changing the game.

But you don’t need to lead the project to be able to change the game. Everybody, regardless of their role or level, can make a game-changing contribution.

Here some tips to help you develop a game-changing approach. They will ensure you start to build game-changing teams and ensure you are making a positive impact in your role.

1. Understand how you make an impact

In order to make a lasting impact in your organisation you need to understand how you contribute. People tend to make their contribution in three key ways:

  • Through ideas
  • Through tasks
  • Through people

2. What is the value?

It is also important to consider what your employer values as well as any other key stakeholders:

  • How will your idea support your employer?
  • What tasks are you working on that will support your employer in achieving objectives?
  • How can you get the best from people to achieve objectives?

3. Focus on strengths

Get familiar with your strengths. We all have something to offer, but that offering is different to everyone else, as we are all individuals.

Are you in a role that fits your strengths and allows you to do what you do well? This is really important because working in a role that plays to your strengths will help you make a meaningful contribution.

4. Make your strategic impact

Successful transformational change does not just hinge on the idea generator. Everyone who is in a position to help contribute to the end game has an important role to play in changing the game. This may include everyone from the Receptionist to the Finance Director.

Where do you fit in? How is this aligned to the organisation’s strategy? How will you personally contribute to the vision, mission and objectives?

5. Build strong relationships

Life is about relationships, and the workplace is no different. By taking the time to get to know other people, build alliances, understand what they can contribute and how they make an impact, you will be far more likely to be able to bring in the right people when required to transform the future. Others can make or break a game-changing idea.

Now is the time to shift from focusing on what you have done in the past and start looking at how you can work with others to make your game-changing contribution.

Remember, not everyone is a Game Changer but everyone can make a game-changing contribution.

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A Game Changer is Born

Digital disruption is inevitable, it’s happening everywhere. But who are the disruptors and how do we ensure they are working for our organisations, changing our landscape and transforming the way we work?

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Leaders are crying out for people who have the ability to change their organisation’s landscape. These individuals are the people who have the ability to completely upend the way a particular organisation, market or industry works – they are the Game Changers.

Think about the likes of Uber, who reinvented the transportation business, and Instagram, who changed the nature of photography – we need the Game Changers to transform the way we do things.

These are two examples of the high level impact Game Changers can have, but not every organisation needs this level of change. The reality is Game Changers are out there changing things every day. Whether it be reinventing an administrative process or the way a department works, having Game Changers on board gives our businesses the opportunity to accelerate evolution at every level within its operation.

The DNA of a Game Changer

Our study, The DNA of a Game Changer, identifies the key traits of a Game Changer and delves a little deeper to investigate what these individuals need to deliver results. It gives us the code we need to identify the Game Changers and identifies the ten key behaviours of a Game Changer:

  • Big picture thinkers
  • Very strategic
  • High on vigour
  • Creative idea generators
  • Passionate about the idea
  • Ambitious, obsessive drive to succeed
  • Risk takers
  • Strong influencers of people (above and below)
  • Great at articulating a vision
  • Likeable

Game Changers exist at every level of our organisations – in fact, 84 per cent of leaders believe people can change the game in their company without having to be put in a senior management position. But do you know who your Game Changers are?

Now our study has identified the characteristics of Game Changers it is easier for us to develop a framework to recognise those within our organisations who have game-changing potential, and to better utilise their obsessive imagination, passion and drive.

Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, got it right when he said, “The most talented, thought-provoking, game-changing people are never ‘normal’.”

The leaders we surveyed echoed Branson’s comments saying they believe Game Changers are often considered disruptive by others.

Without the right business culture or management mindset these game-changing individuals will often leave organisations as a result of being stifled, get removed for being too disruptive, or simply become the “vanilla” and conform to the continuum of corporate complacency.

Ticking boxes

Game Changers don’t tick standard corporate boxes and they will certainly challenge the status quo, which often means managers find them difficult. We need to move away from this tick-box mentality and encourage our managers to take a risk and give Game Changers the freedom to fulfil their potential if we are to reap the benefits.

This is reflected in the process that needs to be implemented when recruiting Game Changers. Recruiting managers need to be able to take a different approach and have the freedom to take a risk. The standard “experience, qualification and skills” recruitment model won’t allow them to identify these characteristics within individuals, which means Game Changers could slip through the net.

This freedom to take risks doesn’t stop with the recruitment process. Managers need to adopt a different management style to allow game-changing individuals to achieve their potential. They need to become more open minded, be willing to listen to potential ideas and support them moving forward, all of this while creating a safe environment for these risks to be taken.

This is where the ‘safe to fail’ culture has its strongest benefit. A Game Changer needs to have the flexibility to challenge the status quo, explore new opportunities and be able to present them to the open ears of management.

The Conclusion

These Game Changers are out there, quite often they are in teams but without the right culture in place we are at risk of losing them. Now we know their “DNA”, it’s in our best interests to utilise these exceptional individuals and give them the freedom to grow and help improve our businesses.

We need to take a risk giving them freedom, that safe to fail culture and in return for our risk they’ll provide our organisations with fresh energy, new ideas and deliver growth and development.

eg.1 is a business insight and talent consultancy. We work globally with organisations when they want to scale, make a strategic step change or simply disrupt the status quo. Our methodology encompasses the acquisition of game changing people, teams and companies underpinned by bespoke market intelligence and talent frameworks.