Are Critical Doers Unreasonable People?

 A Critical Doer attacks problems and creates opportunities from the inside out 

“A reasonable man adapts himself to the world.  An unreasonable man will try to make the world adapt to him.  Therefore, all progress comes from unreasonable people.” 

George Bernard Shaw


In a moment when our wishes aren’t in alignment with someone else’s, we’ve all been implored to “be reasonable.”  There are times when this is sage advice…there are times when following the advice can stop progress in its tracks.

Take a quick review of a Critical Doer post from a few months ago about the origin of innovation.  In that discussion, I showed you a typical demographic breakout of innovators who can see a completely different future, bridge builders who can understand that future and translate the vision into an actionable pathway, and consensus where the focus is on task accomplishment but where the work of an organization actually gets done.

The oft maligned demographic of consensus, where we typically find 66 percent of a population, would be called reasonable because the natural focus is on maintaining the smooth flow of the present condition.  It’s stable, efficient, and absolutely necessary.  The view from this demographic is that change is disruptive and can jeopardize the hard work that turned a vision into a process.  The definition of reasonable in this world revolves around maintaining stability.

By contrast, innovators will define reasonable based upon the environment.  They will want to adapt to changing conditions or will sense a window of opportunity and want to go in a different direction even when an organization is on top and leading in market share. It’s easy to see where the friction occurs, and both groups call each other unreasonable for very different reasons.

As a Critical Doer, you inherently understand the delicate balance between the unreasonable creativity of innovation and the unreasonable desire for stability that is also a necessary part of a practical world.  In attacking problems and creating opportunities from the inside out, you understand how innovation and stability of consensus need to peacefully coexist in order to produce anything of benefit and stay ahead of evolutionary changes in the operating environment.

Your challenge is to take a hard look at a situation where you can help people gain a new appreciation for what is unreasonable.  As we’ve said before, it’s not that someone is right and someone is wrong in the natural tug between the unreasonableness that surrounds both innovation and stability…in reality, they’re both right.  To do more and perform at the level of fulfillment, Critical Doers can build bridges from the change that needs to happen into the work that brings the vision to life.

Find the opportunity to be unreasonable and turn some critical thinking into critical doing.  It’s definitely what a Critical Doer would…do!


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Updated: July 25, 2015 — 12:30 pm