Organizational rebels – of visionaries and lateral thinkers

In an ever faster changing world, a vision is needed. Digitisation, corruption and constant change are often the hallmarks of today’s business life. Entrepreneurs must adapt to new challenges. But a company alone will not be able to take the step into the world of tomorrow; it needs the right employees. The employees who drive change. The organization rebels. The Haufe Visionsblog is looking for these visionaries in its blogparade #Organisationsrebellen.

As an innovation profiler, start-up coach and project manager, I have worked with many companies. From the group to the start-up, I was able to gain an insight into the multifaceted structures of Germany as a business location. One thing became very clear to me: the innovative strength of the companies, the step into a future that was uncertain for them, almost always came from a driver within the company, who knew how to captivate the other employees and to inspire them with his vision. This phenomenon can easily be observed in our start-up scene, where an empathic founder – a lateral thinker – can become the beacon of an entire company apparatus. These founders thus join the list of great visionaries such as Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. They were rebels too. Organisational rebels are needed, but is Rebell the right word for this type of entrepreneur?


The mindset of the organizational rebels

The word “rebel” is defined as a person who fights together with others against an existing system. While this may be true in the political context, the organizational rebels are a completely different kind of revolutionaries. They do not take action against an existing political system, but against an entire industry, always in the fight against old-fashioned, obsolete processes. The organizational rebellion of our time researches, puzzles and adapts to changing patterns and new technologies. He is different from many other people in a similar position, because he is prepared to break existing ones in order to emerge strengthened from this process of corruption.

They are communication experts, creative minds, role models and experts. They are masterminds in their field of expertise and explore the limits of the different industries. They also like to exceed them.

I made it my mission to stay at the cutting edge of time and to learn from these innovative, critical visionaries, so I was able to get to know (and count myself among) many of these rebels. They all have something in common: they have been burning for their topic. Whether from the social field or technology, from the health care sector or science, they speak of their innovations, their organisation and their pioneering approaches with such passion that it is difficult not to be swept away.

So is Rebell the right word? Yes, the organizational rebellion opposes existing systems and understands how to transform them. It would therefore be desirable for all organisations to have such a rebel on board, but unfortunately it is not so easy to find it. That is probably one of the reasons why so many innovations and founders fail. According to the statistics, up to 70% of the first years unfortunately do not survive. That’s not even because the idea didn’t have a market. Rather, it lacked the driving force of the lateral thinker, who takes you into a world you never knew before – but where you ask yourself how you could ever live without it.


Limits of the rebellion

They have fire, they have a vision and they are extremely flexible. In spite of everything, organizational rebels also have their limits. As with a political rebellion, one can fail within an organization if one suddenly finds oneself on a wide front alone.

Especially in Germany this is not uncommon. It is not uncommon for German companies to remain closed to innovation. While in other countries, such as the USA, new ideas are often received with great euphoria, reactions in the Federal Republic of Germany are sometimes very different and fluctuate between the committed integration of new processes and absolute rejection.

The organizational rebels face these obstacles. They have to face this challenge through skilful communication, infectious passion and devastating clarity. The shyness in companies must fall, because innovation is what is needed. It needs the organizational rebels. They are already shaping the world of the future today.

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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