Not everyone’s a game changer; everyone can make a game-changing impact
What is ‘game-changing strategy’ and who is the game changer? What does it bring to the company and its people? How can I become a game changer and if I can at all…? Is game changing a special proclivity that a person is born with, or it is a competency to be developed? And if I am not a game changer can I bring a game-changing impact to the company? There are so many questions around this topic. While working with the managers I hear those questions many times. Why? Let’s explore a bit more on this subject.
What does it mean to be a Game Changer? As nowadays, many people play with ChatGTP – I did the same and asked artificial intelligence that question. Here is the answer: “To be a game changer means to have a significant impact on a particular field or industry, altering the status quo and paving the way for new possibilities. Game changers are individuals or organisations that introduce innovative ideas, products, or practices that disrupt traditional ways of doing things and bring about substantial change. Game changers often possess unique skills, vision, and determination that enable them to identify opportunities where others may not, and to push boundaries and challenge conventional thinking. They may inspire others to follow in their footsteps and create a ripple effect that transforms an entire industry or even society as a whole.”
Examples? Steve Jobs and Apple that introduced new way of managing the content (iPod and the cloud), Reed Hastings and Netflix shifted people’s habits from renting DVDs to watching streamed TV series, Garret Camp and Travis Kalanick with the Uber application created the standard for transporting people by car. Why is game changer strategy so relevant? Simply because it can create significant competitive advantage leading to increased market share, profits and customer loyalty. How? By involving an opportunity, or else tackling a problem and developing unique or innovative solutions that change the rules of the game. Isn’t this attractive enough to get one to start a search for their own game changers?
GAME CHANGER WANTED!!! Before we start to search them, let’s consider some key information. Based on research managed by Dr John Mervyn-Smith and Dr Adrian Furnham less than 5% of population is born with game-changer proclivities. Not too many to fulfil the enormous needs. What is even more important: this is not the only hero of the success. There is a set of different roles needed to deliver the change successfully. Is it good or bad news? Definitely it is a great news! It shows the power of the team and each individual being part of it with its unique contribution. This is where The GC Index comes into play. It is a powerful tool that helps to identify and optimise the natural proclivities of individuals in teams, enabling organisations to maximise their potential. Except for the game changer it recognises four more roles such as; strategist, implementer, polisher and the play-maker. These roles correspond to the different ways and stages of change management process in which people make valuable contribution. So who are they?
Game Changers are individuals who thrive in creative and innovative environments. They are natural problem-solvers who always look for new ways to approach challenges. They are followed by strategists, who are skilled at analysing data and making strategic decisions based on them. They are great at identifying trends and patterns to make recommendations based on facts, benchmarks and ideas designed by the Game Changer. The Implementers are the ones, who excel at executing plans. They are reliable, efficient and they have ability to get things done. The Polishers are masters in continues improvement with strong focus on quality. They make sure that everything is being delivered of high-quality. Finally, the Play Makers! The masters of connecting people and making them work together as well as creating positive team environment. They are skilled at managing conflicts, building consensus, and keeping team members motivated and engaged.
Looking at the chart above, we can definitely say that each of those individuals have the potential to make a game-changing impact in their own way and area. While the Game Changer may be the one who comes up with the big ideas, it takes a team of Strategists, Implementers, Polishers and Play Makers to make them real. Everyone has a unique set of natural proclivities that matches them to the specific requirements of their roles. The key success factor is… to fit people in the roles that align with their natural talents. There are no bad employees, only ones badly assigned to their roles. You may say it’s obvious – nothing new. I do agree. On declarative level we all know that, but are we really sure our people fit their given positions, and do they act at their best? Just look around at the results, motivation and engagement of your teams.
The question I’m often asked is – shouldn’t all teams / projects have representatives of those five roles? The answer is no. Would not be it risky to assign a Game Changer to the chief accountant’s position and ask him or her to manage a department that’s subject to strict regulations? It certainly would be! For at least by two reasons: the Game Changer role is very much in the future; creative and obsessive about revolutionary solutions. The accounts department rather needs a team consisting of Implementers, Polishers and Play Makers to get things done to the highest quality with attention to detail, structure and rules. A different set-up of roles is needed in the marketing department, where strategy and creativity are the kings. Each department, project, task and even job position in the organisation requires specific proclivities, which are the DNA of mentioned above roles. The success lies in the ability of the managers to define the appropriate roles and assign the right people to them, as only individuals who act at their best achieve extraordinary results for them, for the teams, and for entire whole organisations.
The table below presents examples of projects and roles assigned to different phases.