What’s more radical, not getting married but live together, or getting married after knowing someone for 1 month?
What’s more radical, setting up a gym inside your company and paying employees to use it, or paying employee’s gym subscriptions outside the company?
What’s more radical, having two kids, or ten in the modern day?
What’s more radical, having a customer wait until you decide to serve them, or serve them when they want to?
What’s more radical, treating employees like cogs in a system and telling them what to do, or trusting their judgment to make the right decision?
What’s more radical, designing products for people without asking them what they want (Apple), or doing what the customers asks (everybody else)?
You’re probably thinking these questions seem stupid, but bear with me. Steve Denning recently pointed out that radical management in not really radical, but common sense. It’s perceived as radical because we’ve been following the same rule book for so much time, that the opposite seems well, radical.
For things to change, someone somewhere has to start acting differently. In five years what seems radical today, will be normal. The system will get stuck again, and somebody somewhere will do the opposite, and then he’ll seem radical. And five years after that, the same story will unfold. It’s a cycle.
Want to get radical with yourself?
If you want to try something radical today, take a different route to work. Say hi and smile to everyone you see in the street even though you don’t know them. Shake someone’s hand like you really mean it, and look them in the eyes with purpose. Be a true friend. Treat your customers with respect, like human beings.
I could go on with examples but I bet you get the message: What seems radical to someone is common sense to someone else.