Disruptive Minds Think Alike

work like da vinci

I started thinking about this while I was reading “Work like Da Vinci” by Michael J. Gelb. It hit me like a rock, it just happened.

It became clearer when, about 7 years ago, I was doing a presentation to some former colleagues. The presentation was about applying what I learned from that book to our work, our job roles, our goals.

I was mostly astonished by two things:

1) Realizing that it wasn’t what people wanted to hear

2) The passion and the belief I had it was the right (or, the one right) course of action.

When you work in the corporate world, you hear a lot of “being agile” without actually being such. Why? Because corporate policies are required to keep things in order.

Order, that is the exact word. Order is necessary in some environments because you need to control a lot of things including budgets, regulations, internal policies but also behaviors, attitudes, mindsets and even relationships.

I’m not saying these are bad things as sometimes you need a certain environment for people who need boundaries. It’s just human nature.

But Order and Control are what keep you from being creative, or better, disruptive.

Disruptive Mindset
Developing a disruptive mindset is not something you learn to do overnight. You need to re-learn, or “un-learn” several things in order to follow this path.


And not all the people want to do that. Because it’s risky, it can lead to challenges and failures and who wants to fail nowadays? Sometimes you don’t even have the luxury to do that.

But, you need to start from something, somehow. And I personally started with that book, although my path that led to it started many more years before that event.

Looking at things differently, this is what I would suggest to anyone who wants to embrace the uncertainty.

It’s so obvious but in our everyday life we are so concentrated with the things we have in front of is that we just don’t do it (or we don’t find the time to do it).

Because sometimes it seems a loss of time, because it doesn’t seem worthy, or simply because our perception of “concrete doing” reminds us this is not productive. Wrong, very much wrong!

If you want to start your “disruptive journey” you need to look at things differently.

New Mindset

I was talking with a colleague and a friend, a few days back. We talked about how Companies in the past tended to be product-oriented. And this is still the case for many Companies, and people.

“Leads, leads, leads” is their motto and “product, product, product” is their focus. You can’t argue with that of course because, in the end, you are there to produce revenues. Are you, really?

Why, instead of looking at you and your role like that, don’t try to look at yourself differently? Why don’t you start thinking that, maybe, you can produce much more than just revenues?

What if you can really change the mindset of the Company you work for, a team you’re part of, or your manager’s beliefs, from the ground-up? What would the outcome be? Uncertain, for sure.

But maybe a lot more productive and successful. Because it will change you as well while doing so. And that’s definitely something you can’t ignore.


Logic VS Creativity

Here in IBV we tend to do things differently. We meet, every week, and we do a few exercises. I call it: Balance between Logic VS Imagination (Concrete VS Creativity).

We sit together in a “creative room”, start CollaBoard on a Surface Hub and all our Surface devices and we share a project altogether.

Of course we look at the data and talk about goals/strategy/tactics/timeline using a sort of S.M.A.R.T approach (Logic). And then, we disrupt it (Imagination). (I’ll dig into this in another post when talking about Data). Everyone looks at the data provided in different ways, or better, in their different ways, and we start building a “bucket of ideas”. Ideas are the ones who bring creativity into motion.

We create our own content and put them into libraries and then we discuss them. Remember: even the silliest idea or the silliest question can be the most brilliant one. The tools we have at our disposal help us to create this agile environment where people can express themselves and bring their inputs into actionable items using their creativity. When we finish our exercise, everyone has at least 2-3 action items based on the things they saw, we shared and they experienced.

After a few days, you will really see people thinking differently, get more familiar with the “uncertain” and be bold enough to take actions.

Even the most logic and structured mind is, at an unconscious level, pushed to look at things differently.

That is what I call a real brainstorming and that is a good starting point when you want to start to embrace the change!