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Five behaviours of digital rebels

We see the Digital Rebels as highly effective teams and leaders that stand above their competitors by following a number of key behaviours. Here are five of them.

1. Give Value to Humans  

Little is more rewarding than providing acts of service to other human beings.

Southwest Airlines have got it right with this thinking:

We are in the Customer Service industry, yet we just happen to fly airplanes.

Southwest Airlines

Ensure your top priority in all your decision making is built around giving value to other human beings, whether they are your customers or your colleagues.

Try changing your mindset.  For example, it’s not your company’s website, it belongs to your customers.

Ask yourself “how does this decision I’m about to make, or piece of work I’m doing contribute to other human beings?”

If you do, you, your team, and your company have a significantly higher chance of being successful.  You will personally feel a lot more satisfied at work as well.  

2. Treat change as your friend

If you can learn to see change as an opportunity not a threat, you can become unstoppable.  

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.

Bruce Lee

Individuals and teams that are comfortable with uncertainty can quickly pivot to new opportunities as they arise.  

This doesn’t mean you don’t try to look ahead and anticipate the future, you certainly need to keep an eye on that, but often the best opportunities come from where you least expect them.  Be ready and don’t be afraid to change course if the unexpected opportunity is better than what you’re working on.

By doing so you stay competitive and innovative and drive new capabilities that other teams and organisations would have taken years to adapt to.

Be comfortable with continual change, it’s an ally.

3. Seek continual flow

If you deliver value to humans continuously or as frequently as possible, they win, and you win.

Firstly, you and your team will experience regular job satisfaction, giving you that regular dopamine hit from the response you get from your customers and colleagues.

Secondly, you lower the risk of failure by getting products and services into real user’s hands as early as possible and continually building improvements based on feedback.

Finally, by working in small and frequent delivery mode, you are much more nimble and able to act on opportunities you couldn’t have predicted.  Remember the previous behaviour: treat change as your friend.

4. Treat assumptions as your enemy

When we’ve got a decent amount of friends, there’s got to be an enemy or two right? Assumption is your enemy.  

Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion

W. Edwards Deming

You’ll see it come at you from all sites, your boss, your colleagues, even yourself. Resit it at all costs.  Assumptions are usually wrong.

“Let’s build this thing because everyone will love it”

“Other people are using this technology so it will work for us too”

If you’ve not got data to back up your decision making, you need to find it.

Making assumptions in a rapidly changing and fickle world is dangerous. What works for one person, team, customer, or company doesn’t necessarily work for another.

Evidence based thinking is essential if you are going to win and your customers are going to win too.

5. Be authentic and kind

We’re all humans just trying to make our mark on the world.  

You’re probably familiar with the phrase “Treat people how you want to be treated”.  I’d suggest upgrading that to “Treat people how they want to be treated”.

Authentic behaviours are the key to high performance both individually, for leaders, and within teams.

Make it safe to be human, to make mistakes, to learn, to be vulnerable, to have difficult but honest conversations.  

Be kind to each other and take time to listen and be open minded to other perspectives, you will usually always learn something.

Leaders have responsibility to look their your teams at a human level as well as a professional level, as do colleagues for each other.  

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV from Pexels

Posted in: Agile , Leadership , Teams and Teamwork