When I was 30, if you had called me a disrupter, I’d have been insulted. I might have even sulked. Why? Because, back then, I wanted to be liked, to be accepted, and to just fit in. But now, at um….42 years old, I’d consider being called a disrupter a compliment. I’d be happy. It would be a comment on my personal business savvy and success. After all, that’s what I’m about. I want to disrupt the in-person meeting space, the snooze fest of board meetings, wasted time at retreats, and mindless virtual meetings.
My goal is to flip meetings upside down and only keep the parts that are valuable and have a purpose. I’m sick of meetings that are just about receiving information that never gets implemented. I want to invest my time – and yours – in helping groups to provide input toward decision-making and moving to implementation responsibility. I hope that meetings facilitated by ISI Consulting are different and completely unlike the norm. Yes, we’re about disrupting unproductive in-person and virtual meetings…and proud of it.
What are you disrupting? What is your organization pumped up to turn around? What makes you angry? What makes you downright giddy? What is it? Customer experience guru, S. Jeffes, notes that “Innovation is the unrelenting drive to break the status quo and develop anew where few have dared to go.” That sounds a LOT like positive disruption to me.
If I could sit with three women this year, it would be Cynt Marshall (former equity disrupter of AT&T and now CEO of the Dallas Mavericks), Dolly Parton (singer, songwriter, and philanthropy forerunner, always doing it HER way) and Sara Blakley (undergarment disrupter and CEO of Spanx…who makes us all look better). These women saw needs and didn’t wait for someone else to tell them how to do it. They moved forward and laser-focused on the issues they saw and knew they could fix. They were relentless in iterative learning and experimentation. Not everyone liked the disruptions that were taking place at the Dallas Mavs, in Nashville, or at Spanx headquarters. These women didn’t care, because they recognized that anyone pushing against the status quo is going to experience pressure. It’s OK and necessary.
I’d like you to take a little time in the next week and do yourself a favor. Think about your position and your business or industry. Are you disrupting anything? If not, where and how could you become a disruptor? How can you push yourself and your organization forward? Then write out the following sentences, fill in the blanks, and put that piece of paper where you’ll see it every day. Commit to use it as your encouragement to be a disruptor. I know you’ll be surprised at the results.
We are disrupting the ______________ industry. We strongly believe _______________ and as a result we commit to doing/providing _____________ to our customers/patients/participants.
Holly Hayes, President & Founder
They arranged to rent a bus for the day. And a medical doctor and two nurses devoted a half day to help my family enjoy visiting Table Rock State Park with my father…who died just three months later. The Hospice team didn’t have to do this. The doctor and nurses didn’t have to do this. There was no billing code for reimbursement for their services, but they still did it.
Why? This special Thursday came about all because a doctor listened carefully and then showed unreasonable generosity to my family. He heard my brother and mother talking about hiking to the top of Table Rock, swimming in the lake and getting ice cream at Aunt Sue’s restaurant. Quietly and with no social media optics moment, Dr. Kumar (pictured here with my mother and father) made it happen. Had he and his team ever done this before? Nope…and it didn’t matter.
Why would a physician and two of his nurses do this? Showing love and genuine care was a non-negotiable for them. It defined who this hospice organization was, and you didn’t need to read a strategic plan or mission statement to experience this in action. They baked it into their organization from the ground up, and when an opportunity to show love and genuine care presented itself, they didn’t ask “Should we?”, but “How can we?”
I know the terms welcoming, belonging, and inclusion are being used more frequently around the staff and board table. I want us to really dig deep and uncover what that means for your organization or business. How might we approach being welcoming and inviting with as much passion as we devote to our product or service line? We live in a world where money is getting tight(er), everyone is tired and stretched, and folks are slowly starting to pull back. We need connection like never before. Even in lean times, don’t slack up on your values. Hold true to the reason your organization/business exists. Lean in and be relentless in making your values shine even brighter. We all need that.
South Carolina has 47 amazing state parks scattered from the coast to the Upstate. Let me suggest you visit one of them and build some memories of your own. Because they’re incredibly important during times when we’re all stretched and need connection. If you have never visited Table Rock State Park (Table Rock | South Carolina Parks Official Site) I highly recommend it. It’s the first place my future husband and I said, “I love you” and one of the last places I shared an embrace with my father. I have since visited the park with my three-year old son. He never met my Daddy, but boy do we share stories.
Holly Hayes, President & Founder