5 Ways to Reach Higher by Rattling Cages
Nothing frustrates leaders more than a past that keeps coming back and a future that never quite gets here.
Rattle cages today or the past stumbles into the future.
Successful cage rattling:
Don’t wait for a crisis to rattle cages today. Repetition produces stability. Stability eventually ends in stagnation.
Cage rattling is disruption. Disruption, at the beginning, is destruction.
5 ways to reach higher by rattling cages:
- Give authority to someone. You have team members who are almost ready for new challenges. ‘Almost ready’ is ready enough. Test someone who is almost ready with a short-term challenge.
- Leave a meeting early. Let the team finish without you.
- Create constraints. Boundaries rattle cages.
- Shorten a timeline. (Do this occasionally, not as a permanent strategy.)
- Create space for talent. Temporarily remove a person from the team. Who steps up?
- Delight customers in a new way today. What might you do today to make your customers feel great about their decision to buy your product or work with you?
- Ask new questions.
- Who is adding the most value to the team? How might you give them new authority?
- Where are we spinning our wheels?
- If we could only get one thing done today, what would we do?
- What will we do today to prepare for what matters tomorrow?
Tip: Rattling cages creates inefficiency at first.
Rattling cages isn’t punishment.
- Affirm people.
- Celebrate progress.
- Don’t demonize the past.
- Pursue something better.
- Adopt a spirit of exploration.
Believe in people when you shake things up. Cage rattling isn’t punishment. It’s opportunity.
How might leaders rattle cages in positive ways?
What might you do today to rattle some cages? How might you rattle your own cage?
Love it! Rattling cages is an art. It is certainly not an easy way to get ahead and it is not for the weak at heart. It is a way to be, call it the fun way to tell people they are getting too comfortable. Life is movement; the ones stuck in cages standing still needs to have the cage shaken up a bit otherwise they will freeze and no businesses like cold cookies.
Thanks Helene. Your word art is wonderful. I find that staying positive while shaking things up is important.
It’s easy to us negatively as motivation.
A post after my own heart. We’ve been doing this disruptive kind of approach for the past 20 years, framing it up using the Square Wheels metaphor but using conversations and cognitive dissonance and the reality that things can always be done differently and more better faster. Exemplary performers ARE quiet cage rattlers, since they simply bend the rules to get things done but are generally quiet about it.
Poor performers also know how to quietly rattle cages, since they will often do precisely the minimum requirements and pushing them farther than that is problematic UNLESS THEY CHOOSE to do something more better faster. That, we call engagement.
I am not so much into destruction as I am into creative recreation, reframing, incremental improvement and continuous continuous change.
But, yeah, let’s all go out and make something different happen more better faster. The woods are FULL of old trees that can be cut down.