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Going rogue is the new normal

I wrote an article – Is going rogue the new normal? – four years ago. It focused on a new way of thinking about yourself and your work. And it’s even more relevant today than back in 2016 when I wrote it.

I quote from my article:

In the work world today, people often need to go rogue in order to get things done. The online urban dictionary defines going rogue as “To cease to follow orders; to act on one’s own, usually against expectation or instruction. To pursue one’s own interests.”

This may sound reckless and extreme—not following orders or instructions, acting on your own, pursuing your own interests versus those of others. But I interpret it to mean “daring to take initiatives that go against policy and doing what seems best from your point of view”.

It means going rogue in your head, then living it in your actions

A real example of going rogue is the customer-facing workforce I described in an article I wrote for HBR back in 2016. I showed a correlation between high-performing customer-oriented workforces and organizations where the sales and service teams disobeyed corporate guidelines and used their own phones. This was known as BYOD at the time (bring your own device). I have many anecdotes about how going rogue brought positive results from my years of advising large organizations, but this is not the place to share them!

The points I made in the 2016 article apply to many of us, now working much like the customer-facing people I studied in my research. My advice at the time, and even more so today is:

1. Learn to use your devices as optimally as you can. Whether it’s a cell phone (now standard!) or an online tool such as Zoom, there’s a lot of potential we forget to explore.

2. Take personal responsibility for acquiring new skills. Learn about new subjects. Today there are many online courses available, many free, around a multitude of new topics.

3. Build your networks, inside and outside your organization.
Improve your habits for organizing and sharing information and knowledge.


You can go rogue right where you are today. By becoming digitally skilled, well informed and connected in meaningful ways to others, you will develop a rogue mindset ­­– confident of your ability to survive and thrive inside an organization as well as outside.

The original article is here: https://www.netjmc.com/is-going-rogue-the-new-normal/

As always, I  look forward to your comments and feedback. Be sure to get in touch if there are topics you’d like me to include in future Briefing Notes.

Thank you for reading my briefing notes.


Roles and responsibilities

Are functional roles disappearing?

I wrote a short post on LinkedIn asking if people on LinkedIn thought that functional roles are disappearing inside organizations.
I believe they are. This is part of how hierarchy is fracturing, I think it’s happening faster than we realize.

The post has been seen by nearly 4000 people and has triggered some good and long comments. Take a look at it, and join the conversation.

New Era Workplace Shift

My Paris-based workgroup (previously IntraNetwork) is now going global.  With all our sessions taking place online, we are hoping people will join us from other European countries, Russia, India and parts of North and South American–within reachable time zones.

You can read more about our group here and see why and how to join us.

What I’m reading these days

Wikipedia at 20: last gasp of an internet vision, or a beacon to a better future?

(The Guardian)

A quote to make you think:

The collaborative encyclopaedia still has many barriers to overcome, from an ever-present funding crisis, only partially solved by its donation-driven revenue model, to its undesired role as a silent battlefield for professionally run influence campaigns to rehabilitate reputations, or excise controversy from the internet. And it still faces the same pressures that more conventional reference sources do, as it struggles to represent the history of the world with less of a focus on the white, male wealthy figures who make up so much of recorded history.

24 Big Ideas that will change our world in 2021

(Editor Scott Olster)

One example among many

The shift from employee to entrepreneur has already begun. With scores of restaurants and retailers permanently shuttered without a viable comeback, frontline workers are launching traveling hair salons and virtual workout classes. New business applications, which would-be entrepreneurs must file for tax purposes, have skyrocketed, growing 38% year-over-year as of mid-November, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

This entrepreneurial spike may be largely isolated to countries that did not offer robust economic stimulus programs to keep workers employed. In Europe, where governments have helped companies offset costs while workers stayed home, the unemployment rate is far lower than in the U.S. Those economies have not seen the same dramatic uptick in new business formation.

Work without jobs

MITSloan (paywall or sign-in)

We need a new operating system built on deconstructed jobs and organizational agility….Organizations are held back by the obsolescence and stubborn inertia of a traditional work operating system that was built for the Second Industrial Revolution, with work defined as “jobs” and workers defined as “job-holding employees.”

Thank you for reading my Briefing Notes.