I think the most rare attribute people in the world are running out of, is initiative.
How often do you notice people in your team trying to invent, think something different, change the status quo.
The BAU (business as usual) syndrome is quite a strong disease. BAU it’s a good excuse for not having time for thinking of something else. No time for an internet search of what the rest of the world is doing in your business. But, as I said, it is just an excuse. No time is no interest.
In fact, most people see their life flowing anyway, with no need of taking any risk. That is way people fear reorganizations: any time the company chart is shaken as you can do with your iPod track list, they just tend to resettle. But the music the play is always the same. In the long term, they tend to think that innovation and ideas just live outside their company’s walls. They think these are things happening in supplier labs only.
Changes comes from the top, not from the bottom. CEO is not happy with services, or wants the same product the competitor just launched. That causes turbulence. Nothing else. In such a reactionary and conservative world, the role of a consultant is a key role. You can be the only guy able to “risk”. You can recommend something, you can experiment, you can propose changes. If you are not allowed to do that, then start worrying as you probably are in a very risky position.
You’d better start worrying too in any occasion you find your company waiting for some else’s chess move.
You’d better start worrying too if you realize you are sitting in front of a slideshow you did not contribute preparing.