If there has been any commonality of all thats unfolded around the world in the last two years, it has been stitched by the fabric of maverick thinking- at times it has helped and yet at other times it has harmed. Join me here as we try to decipher, the what and why around this space and understand what makes being a maverick so potent! So here we go!
Contrary to popular assumption (which by itself is another pandemic of sorts!) being a maverick doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is or wants to be reckless, alternatively the converse may be more accurate! you see, when this whole virus episode cam visiting us, all the normal ways of thinking had to be pulled off and away and societies which did that, saw a slightly better result in terms of ability to save lives and ride the storm out with as much little damage- if we have to say it that way. Sure enough there have been lapses and there have been those systemic failures regarding infrastructure and people not being around when it mattered the most and that point itself is another validation of why we need people around who are and can think like mavericks!
Normal human behaviour, reasoning and logic works well and evolves when there is a linear disruption- where changes happen over a period of time; consider the fuel price rise or the rise in cost of living- over a period of few weeks or months you will be able to come up with a plan and method to sustain or adjust to the new realities that have walked in to impact your way of living. But when there is a mega event like what we have been witnessing in the recent past- whether it was the pandemic, the natural events- flash floods, forest fires, other natural calamities- the human mind simply is overwhelmed and as your emotional response begins to kick in to stay safe and stay alive- you stand a a greater chance of missing out on an opportunity to come to terms with what’s unfolding on the lever of rational thinking and logical thought process.
It is precisely in these environments, that maverick minds rise up to the occasion and provide a way out which seems like a terrible thing, but as it unfolds, in hindsight, that is the only thing that could have been the answer is what eventually it gets to be! So what is maverick thinking and how is it that you and I can tap into this space?
As I said in the beginning, it’s not about being reckless, it is rather about being observant, aware and resilient. It is about knowing the gravity of what’s unfolding and the ability to respond in a calibrated manner where the measures are just enough to tilt the moment in time in your favour but never in excess- which can go on to set loose a whole set of unwanted side effects and create solutions with more subsidiary and long lasting problems!
Maverick thinking, if you ask me is, being able to think fast, dealing with multiple variables and running simulations of varying degrees to choose a path among the many that are available in which the trade off is minima. You may say, but this is how we also normally think- don’t we? Evaluating multiple options and then taking an informed choice, well the difference here is that in the normal course of evaluations and solution deployment, we are executing a linear approach of negating or shooting down one option and then moving to the next one to analyse; in the case of the maverick mind- one needs to run concurrent evaluations under a confined time and changing situation and this is why maverick thinking is what excites a few and scares yet others! So how do you get one?
Each one of us has the ability to deploy our minds in a maverick manner, we have done it- at times we have realized it and sometimes we have just not taken note of it! Whether it was a sly trick at school or some amazing performance in sports or academics, none of that would have been possible with the conventional linear approach- which thrives on incremental progress and benchamrking- it is only when the definition of experienced comfort and perceived discomfort gets clearer and the contrast gets sharper are we able to deploy our wildest way of thinking and imagination- this is what sets the tone to deploy our minds in a maverick manner!
Whether it was about the fearless fire-fighters battling ferocious fires for months together or the management of the pandemic- it is only when the people responding to these emergencies have deployed weird executions and non-conventional approaches to the problem at hand, that humanity has got a long pause to re-collect, re-group and wage a more planned out and well laid out defence to the nemesis playing out!
To begin with a maverick mind, is swift and is aware- moment to moment- it has an ability to see what is visible and also what is hidden away- small pockets and aberrations which are quickly picked up, for it is within these that the next escalation or emergency can manifest from! Once the maverick mind has sized up or got an edge to be over the crest of an emerging situation, all that is left is to decide on the action that needs to be taken- more often then not- the maverick mind resorts to unconventional execution- which matches every word of the solution in speed, intensity and direction! If you go back to a very famous case around the end of the first Gulf War- around 1991-1992 when the oil fields across Kuwait were set ablaze with no real conventional solution providing an answer, it was a sheer genius and a maverick mind which thought of dousing fire with more fire (controlled explosions at the mouth of the burning oil wells!) The solution worked, worked well so much that now there is a whole science and progressive research around dealing with highly dangerous fire hazards within the oil and gas industry – all of which started with only one maverick thought!
The solutions of a maverick mind are not limited only to situations of emergency, you can see the effects play out as governments come up with some crazy rules, regulations – which seem to be something, but actually are a camouflage to help the government meet some other end result! Consider this, the recent few years has seen volatility of fossil fuel prices across the world, even as this is playing out every few months nations and societies are adding up to the electric mobility eco-system- in few societies that is the accepted and adopted policy position and while in few others, knowing the kind of complex resolution that may be need the governments, are simply holding on to the price rise of fossil fuel so that eventually when comparisons are made charging an electric battery may tend to seem cheaper then have a fuel thirsty old age vehicle! Not only does it help on this one front- but with the onset of electric mobility what you have is controlled movement and calibrated management of available units for mobility in the private and public ecosystem and needles to say each of these units would be end-to-end traceable. With all of this maverick approach, we are ushering in a new age of meaningful and purpose led mobility – so the days of throwing up the key and going in for an aimless long drive as we now experience will be a all but a tale from some other life time in the decades ahead!
Like with everything else, the harnessing of a maverick approach largely depends on who the owner of that mind is and how sane or insane that is! As humanity we have witnessed maverick’s make and break our world with precision and impunity- end of the day a maverick mind is perhaps one of the most potent tools, how you want to deploy it and how deploys it- is what eventually determines whether we rise with it or sink with it!
I leave you with these thoughts for now, grab your cup , try and reflect on your own frame of maverick success and failures and within them you will find latent seeds of promise and fears, what you choose to nourish is what then will grow and manifest as a cloak to your emerging personality!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay wise, keep thinking and be a maverick!