“Why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, a brain comes attached.” – Henry Ford
The days of “Please check your brain at the door” are over. At least they are if your company wants to survive and thrive in the new world.
In fairness to Henry Ford, he was trying to create consistency and sameness in what was previously an artisan world. He wanted workers who did exactly what they were told rather than making it up on their own. He would have delighted to see today’s world were the “headless/brainless” machines put the cars together.
In today’s world, you better bring your brain to work if you want to prosper. Companies are starving for innovative thinkers, new ideas, smart solutions, creative insights, and the team members who are able to provide these will accelerate their progress within any company that is thinking properly.
I had a “worker” tell me “I shut my ideas off years ago” as a result of the fact that his “bosses” shut him off a long time ago by not listening or even caring about his input. (I put worker and boss in parentheses because of how outdated even our language is for the new world of work.)
Here are a few ways you can shine by bringing your brain to work.
Bring a Plan Not Just an Idea
In my bestselling A Company of Owners, I talk about the difference between saying I have an idea vs. I had an idea so I did some research and put together a potential plan for making it happen. Too many people throw out ideas and leave it to others to do the heavy lifting of mapping it out. Plans are much more likely to get implemented than ideas.
(Image from A Company of Owners)
From the Bestselling A Company of Owners – Daren Martin, PhD
Put the Ball on the Ten Yard Line
The more complete your plan is the more likely it is to be adopted. If the ball is on the ten-yard line with 90 yards to go, most people are not going to want to take on the challenge of moving the ball down the field. Instead, put the ball 10 yards from the end zone. Many more people will want to help carry the ball into the end zone for the touchdown.
(Image from A Company of Owners)
From A Company of Owners, Daren Martin, PhD
Anticipate and Innovate
Look for future trends and issues that could impact the business and come up with advanced strategies to mitigate or take advantage of them. We live in a world of massive disruption in the most valued people will be the ones who can see the future and figure out how to lean into it. How will driverless vehicles impact our industry? What jobs in our company could AI do? How will disintermediation impact the kind of work we do? What kind of impact might climate change have on our business?
Be a Learner
For starters, you want to know as much as you can about your industry and business. Not just your little piece of it but the whole. In addition, you want to be well versed in a wide range of topics. Knowledge of economics, psychology, personal development, history, and more can all bring immense value in giving you a broader perspective and worldview. Watch documentaries, read, watch TED Talks and everything else you can do to broaden your knowledge.
Dr. Daren Martin is the CEO and Founder of The Global Company Culture Association. He is also a Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author.
His books include … A Company of Owners: Maximizing Employee Engagement, Whiteboard: Business Models that Inspire Action, The Sink: Radical Transformation with One Small Change, and Unbeach: Learning to Swim in the New Ocean