Recently the co-founder of Linkedin announced a $250000 prize for Disobedience.

This was also one of the key themes in the book whiplash. When discussing the motivations behind this,  Joi Lito, Director of Media Lab says,

“Society and institutions in general tend to lean toward order and away from chaos. In the process, this stifles disobedience. It can also stifle creativity, flexibility, and productive change, and in the long run, society’s health and sustainability. This is true across the board, from academia, to corporations, to governments , to our communities”

Why do you think there is a need to pronounce disobedience?

I think it is owing to inertia.

Once you get there, it is very hard to get out of it.

However, I have one technique that I have always used, and you could use that in your teams.

It is called UTC R & D.

UTC stand for “Under the Carpet.” That can always keep some sections of the team engaged. If you are responsible for some sizeable section of people or lead certain teams, you can always devise ways to do UTC R & D. Even at a personal level; you can have UTC activities that keep you enthused.

So, what are the characteristics of a UTC R & D?

  • Extremely Disciplined and focused
  • Very small team size
  • Run on a tight leash, having specific outcomes
  • Having highest accountability. This may seem counter-intuitive to disobedience, but disobedience is towards breaking the inertia and does not tantamount to complete lack of accountability. The opposite is true. They have the highest accountability.

So, what could be the pitfalls?

  • Failures have to be pronounced. You cannot keep failure Under The Carpet.
  • You could be fired. But this is very unlikely. This would be a rarity if your efforts had the organization’s interest in mind
  • At times, accountability could be dwindling, since no one is watching and this is completely under the radar
  • Needs individuals with a high degree of discipline

I was fortunate enough to practice this in organizations that employed me. I was lucky enough to work with teams and individuals who had a penchant for doing this. I almost made this practice, that when my bosses started asking me, what is the UTC activity going on, I thought I had to switch strategy.

It is not my intention, to blow my own trumpet, as it might look, but disobedience with indiscipline can be a great way for breaking status quo, and I think irrespective of the position you are in if you take some baby steps, you will have a lot of fun.

After all, we are enjoying the fruits of a great man, The Mahatma, who made civil disobedience as a successful, scalable and repeatable strategy.

I do not think you need greater inspiration than that to practice a little disobedience!

Enjoy Maadi (Have Fun)