Changing Planes Mid-Flight

By Mission

 In the movie World War Z, there was a Mossad agent trying to explain to Brad Pitt’s character why Israel was far more prepared for a zombie outbreak than the rest of the world. The reason was the 10th Man Rule. The agent explained that Israel’s security council had 10 advisors who looked into big picture issues. If the first 9 advisors dismissed an issue or potential danger to the country, then the 10th man was forced to overrule them on principle and look into the issue no matter how far-fetched the scenario. There’s a lesson in there that I think applies to exactly how Ed McQuiston, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer for Hyland, says the company tends to operate. In this episode of Business X factors McQuiston sets out how the company has adopted a process of contrarian thinking that has ensured its survival for decades.  Main Takeaways:How Not to Become a Boiled Frog: When managers realise that a business is running into a problem, it is critical not to become the metaphorical frog who doesn’t notice that the water is warming up until it’s too late. Leaders need to pivot and refocus the strategy, which includes doing a critical review of the business plan, coming up with a new route, and then getting the buy-in and resources necessary to make it work.  Bring in a Truth Teller: As managers advance to the executive level, feedback often becomes more infrequent and more unreliable, which means that executives could plateau in their leadership and interpersonal skills. Third party coaches or consultants are particularly effective in times of change and can help executives come up with new ways to tackle old problems. When managed correctly, they can reduce exposure to operational risk.  A Devil’s Advocate on Your Team: When one member comes up with an alternative perspective, it encourages other members to consider other angles to a problem, think more deeply about their own views, and perhaps stimulate solutions that they would not have considered before. To be an effective devil’s advocate, the Harvard Graduate School of Education suggests that ideas should be challenged, not the participants who put them forward — don’t hurt feelings and maintain focus on the group. ---Business X factors is produced by and brought to you by Hyland. For over a decade, Hyland has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content Services Platforms, leading the way to help people get the information they need when and where they need it. More than half of 2019 Fortune 100 companies rely on Hyland to help them create more meaningful connections with the people they serve. When your focus is on the people you serve, Hyland stands behind you. Hyland is your X factor for better performance. Go to to learn more.

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