Some of the best conversations we have had with influential stakeholders involved suggested actions that were ultimately rejected. In most cases, these were proposed acts of “intelligent disobedience.” Why were they still great conversations? Because they helped us as individuals stand out. As an employee, they reflected a desire and willingness to step away from being an every-day, replaceable “part in a process” and demonstrated initiative.
Often, these “failed suggestion” conversations bring new information to light, and other actions are proposed that improve a given project, or smooth the operation of a business process. Some of the very best ideas we have thought of for acts of intelligent disobedience were never executed at all, rather they served as catalysts for improvement by enlightening a senior leader, or causing a group to frame a problem in a different manner.
In an economy where the “manufactured piece” is continually being moved to markets where labour is less expensive, the products we can bring to work that are of greatest value are our ideas, innovations and perspectives. Intelligent disobedience involves removing all but the legally binding boundaries from our thinking. This helps us come up with different means of serving our businesses and our clients. Frequently, all this takes is the courage to surface an idea and make a suggestion. This could put your career in a whole new light.