Without question, one of the best reads I've had in the last 10 years was Bill Taylor's Mavericks at Work.  Easily one of the most marked up books on my shelf.  This morning one of his blog posts caught my eye:
The 10 Questions Every Change Agent Must Answer

Are you a change agent?  I know…you may not have that title on a business card, but are you in the business of change?  It may be a wiring thing, but it's a rare day when I don't find myself face to face with the debris field where the ideas and strategies of yesterday have collided with the culture and values of tomorrow (or at least today).

One of the great lines from Taylor's article reads:

As Albert Einstein famously said, "Problems cannot be solved at the
same level of awareness that created them." Or, in the spirit of some
unknown Texas genius: "If all you ever do is all you've ever done, then
all you'll ever get is all you ever got."

  1. Do you see opportunities the competition doesn't see?  I know what you're thinking.  Get past the word "competition."  The key here is that to be a change agent requires thinking about possibility.
  2. Do you have new ideas about where to look for new ideas?  The answers probably will be found in an arena that you're not in.  The game is changed when we're able to look outside our own field.
  3. Are you the most of anything?  This can be true of every organization.  It's not about size.  It's about a customized future.
  4. If your company went out of business tomorrow, who would miss you and why?  Enough said…this is a great question.  Worthy of an extended discussion.
  5. Have you figured out how your organization's history can help to shape its future?  Another fascinating discussion.  Could it be that the best things from your past could serve to shape your future?
  6. Can your customers live without you?  This may be why change is scary for many leaders.  I'd say there's no question that many of our organizations would eventually come around to say "yes."  And that might motivate some to change.
  7. Do you treat different customers differently?  You've got to read Taylor's comment on this one.  Too good for me to give my take.  "One test of how committed a company is to its most
    important customers is how fearless it is about ignoring customers who
    aren't central to its mission. Not all customers are created equal."  Oh my.  That is why this is an important article.
  8. Are you getting the best contributions from the most people?  Who is with you?  Are you tapping into the hidden potential of the crowd?  Or only the usual suspects?
  9. Are you consistent in your commitment to change?  Again…oh my.  How many of our organizations could use this word?
  10. Are you learning as fast as the world is changing?  Isn't it actually the case for many, many organizations that any learning has been over for a long time?  What about yours?

This is one of those articles that you'll want to bookmark or print off and look at again and again.  You can read it right here.

10 Questions Every Change Agent Must Answer