The Need for Mavericks

"Maverick - Noun - a person pursuing rebellious, even potentially disruptive, policies or ideas." — Dictionary.com

The process bloat was a problem, but not the real problem. The process bloat would be obvious to any astute observer.

  • The same action items were being tracked in many different places, often with slightly different wording, and not being closed.
  • Plans existed, but were overly complex and not integrated which rendered them meaningless. The plans neither organized the work nor provided accurate information to make decisions about how to go faster.
  • On top of this, management was concerned about lack of process compliance so people were put in place to ensure "quality" which translated more into "process police."

The people on projects like this work hard to do the right thing. However the productivity and happiness level of everyone is tied to a rock in a turbulent sea. They are sinking.

I find that often the real problems in these organizations is that somehow the mavericks have been "run out of town." I absolutely believe in process. I also absolutely believe that process has to be tweaked and improved. And sometimes torn up, burned, and rebuilt.

And since process is always created by people and run by people, there must be at least one that is ready to use a blow torch.

Mavericks by their very nature are disruptive. They often upset teammates, other groups, managers and even you. Mavericks will do wonders for your organization if properly led and mentored. They will help keep your process waistline properly trim and also keep their teammates motivated to own that very process.

How big is the waistline of your organizational processes? Are you growing mavericks or running them out of town?

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,
ALAN WILLETT