Real Leaders

How to Kill Conformity and Pursue Meaningful Work

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast

“Most people have the desire to change. They have the skill but what they don’t have is the permission. What we needed to do was actually create a culture that would allow people to have the behaviors of innovation.”

Lisa Bodell is a best-selling author, the CEO of FutureThink, and one of the top 50 keynote speakers worldwide. As a futurist and expert on the topic of innovation and simplicity, she is helping both individuals and businesses to ignite innovation.

Real Leaders Impact Awards, The World’s Top Impact Companies: APPLY NOW

The following is a summary of Episode 119 of the Real Leaders Podcast, a conversation with keynote speaker Lisa Bodell. Watch, read, or listen to the full conversation below.

The Mindset of a Futurist

Lisa explains that futurists are big-picture thinkers who consequently think beyond activity-driven quarters or years. As a result, they employ foresight to anticipate trends 5, 10, 20, or more years ahead.

“Futuring is about helping people reach their potential. The future isn’t about who you are, the future is about who you’re becoming. So you can start planning for that now.” 

Listen to Episode 119 on Spotify, Anchor, Crowdcast, and Apple Podcasts

Kill a Stupid Rule

Through FutureThink, Lisa helps businesses pursue innovation, though the journey forward often requires companies to address what is actually holding them back. Oftentimes, innovation is less about generating new ideas and more about unexpected barriers. And sometimes these barriers are the rules built into company policy.

“We are taught to follow rules, not challenge them, and the companies that are more simplified and more innovative give permission to challenge and simplify those things. What became our number one tool was called ‘kill a stupid rule.’ It was not about having people come up with ideas, it was knocking down the things that were holding them back from doing it the first place.”

More Meaningful Work

Lisa states that many employees often can’t define what meaningful work is, because they spend the majority of their time bogged down by more mundane tasks, such as meetings and emails. It is human behavior, however, that most often prevents us from eliminating unnecessary work. This manifests accordingly as a fear of confrontation or direct feedback.

“Everyone has an agenda, a behavior, and everyone’s human. That’s why I say most of complexity is driven by behavior. Risk and fear and power and trust. No matter what organization we’re in, it’s the same thing.”

An overload of unnecessary tasks leaves employees overwhelmed, and consequently less productive. Beyond simplifying internal and obligatory thinking, the goal is to foster external, big-picture visions.

“Prouctivity is ‘you’re not being productive enough,’ simplicity is ‘I want to help you focus on what matters.’ Those are very very different.”



Find Lisa Bodell at:

More like this

Most Recent Articles