Creative Disruption has long been used in the marketing world to break existing patterns of behavior of a target audience. Smart CEO’s are using this technique to change the pattern of behavior in their leaders.

National business consultant Lorraine Grubbs along with CEO Frank Granara of Boston based General Insulation recently used creative disruption to address lack of honest communication among their high potential team.

This team consists of 10 individuals selected to participate in the company’s high potential program. They had been together through four development sessions and, as expected, some individuals embraced this opportunity to learn while some members were not giving it their all. Although the higher performing team members knew, nothing was being done among the team members to encourage the lower performing members to step up their game.

Lorraine and Frank gathered the team together and introduced a creative disruption technique based upon the TV reality show “Survivor”. Each member of the team was asked to submit the name of an individual who they thought had contributed the least and asked to explain why. Not surprisingly, out of the 10 team members, three people were “voted off”. The team now validated these three individuals, previously identified by Frank and Lorraine.

After collecting the names, the team was asked to call the individual they had voted off to tell them why. The intent was to not only have them identify the weakest link, but further, to have them communicate honestly with the person and finally to come up with a way to help them improve their performance.

In the training world, we say, “People can’t argue with their own evidence”. This was a great way to teach these leaders how to conduct difficult conversations while addressing individuals’ vulnerabilities.

Although no one was eliminated, it was a tough exercise for all participants. Ultimately this creative disruption technique taught a critical leadership lesson – honest communication.

How can you utilize Creative Disruption techniques to enhance communication among your leadership team? No one likes to have difficult conversations, and this exercise proved its value in the elevation of the team’s trust in one another.

About Frank Granara and Lorraine Grubbs

Frank Granara and Lorraine Grubbs are co-authors of “Beyond the Executive Comfort Zone: Outrageous Tactics to Ignite Individual Performance” (www.executivecomfortzone.com). Granara is CEO of General Insulation Co. and has a bachelor’s degree in business from Northeastern University. Grubbs is president of the consulting firm Lessons in Loyalty. As a former 15-year executive with Southwest Airlines, she takes principles and practices she helped develop to companies that strive for better employee engagement and loyalty.

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