Internal disruption and choosing to rock the boat.

I cause problems.

It’s part of my job.  I’m responsible for making sure that we are pushing our solutions forward for clients and giving clients the solutions that they need (even if they aren’t the solutions they want).  Often this means I have to take on the role of bad cop so that my bosses or clients can come in with the compromise solution that gets the job done.  Good cop/Bad cop works for this very reason.  Sometimes the very act of causing problems where none technically exist yet also forces solutions to be implemented because we prevent a worse problem from coming to fruition later in the process.

Disruption is often cited as the heart of innovation.  Without making people uncomfortable you are not likely pushing them to do things better.  Humans strive to live and work in comfortable environments.  They will seek to fix discomfort until comfort has been restored.  Simply forcing that improvement process to initiate is a key step.

The person who creates the discomfort is rarely appreciated at the time though which leads most to avoid the role of troublemaker.  Similarly there are some who like to make trouble purely for the sake of trouble and are not even trying to make things better – they just want to see others squirm.  It can be hard to tell productive discomfort from unproductive.  This is one of the key roles of good managers though – taking a situation, understanding it, understanding the root causing, understanding the participants and then using all available information to drive to a long-term improvement.

Do you disrupt on purpose?

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