Whether you call them mavericks, heretics, misfits, activists, linchpins, innovators, or wildcards – you can be sure – they’ll make their presence felt.
They’ll question and challenge authority, rules, the status quo, their job description, your processes, your products and services, your business model, your haircut – and just about anything else that you may, or may not hold sacred. They don’t like being told what to do, they’ll probably rebel at any attempt to be controlled or put into a box, and there’s a high chance they’ll get bored and leave quickly if they don’t feel they have room to move, explore, experiment, and create..
They’ll also probably find solutions to significant problems that you didn’t even know you had, be the source of new value and revenue streams, and do themselves out of a job by doing it differently, smarter and faster.
Who in their right mind would hire them? You? Are you really that brave, that courageous?
If you’ve answered yes – you’ve got a significantly better than average chance of still being in business in the next 5-10 years. Without them in this era of exponential change – your odds look pretty dismal. The good news (for you) if you’re willing to change a few things about your organisation is – many of them are unemployed, disillusioned with their current work, or freelancing – here’s why…
There’s a high chance that your organisation is geared up to not let them in, and if they do get in, not retain them.
When Recruiting Mavericks…
If a Maverick can actually be bothered with a traditional recruitment system – it’s unlikely they’d even make it to the interview stage. Gaps in employment, short employment duration, and not fitting neatly into boxes all work against them when it comes to applying for “jobs”. The very nature of a traditional job and job description almost ensures their full value will not be fully realised.
Traditional recruitment practices and people are the gatekeepers who hang a solid lock on the door ensuring that Mavericks don’t even get a look in. Why? Recruiters are generally rewarded for playing it safe. The problem is, in a world where the survival of business relies on standing out, being remarkable and innovating, adapting and moving quickly – the safe bet is often the riskiest.
It may be that you’ve flirted with Mavericks. Maybe, as often happens, you’ve taken it to the wire – a toss-up between the final two candidates – a Maverick and a Safe Bet. At the end of the day (except in the start-up world) it can take real courage to hire the Maverick.
Attracting & Retaining Mavericks
What is it about your organisation that would attract a maverick to want to work for you in the first place? How can your organisation be the vehicle to help them live their passion? To what extent does your culture, environment, and the way you work support and embrace Mavericks? What percentage of your workforce are Mavericks? Are your people rewarded and recognised for the risks they take, the value they create – and not necessarily the hours worked?
Employing and retaining Mavericks doesn’t need to be so hard, or so scary. It just requires a better understanding of the value and ways of the Maverick, a different style of leadership, and greater attention to how to achieve both “freedom and accountability” in your workforce simultaneously.
The benefits are worth it – in fact, it’s no longer an option – it’s a prerequisite. How Maverick friendly is your organisation?
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs(1955 – 2011)
By Lisa McCarthy, www.optimalagility.com