Number One Rule Is No Rules

I recently attended the first of four BizFit workshops organized by the Greater Richmond Chamber and presented by Alex DerHorvannessian (aka Alex D). Alex wrapped the hour discussion around a notion I've always found very appealing – "Breakingthe Rules, and Being Successful!"

Alex's first question – "What is one rule that is important to your organization or business" – brought to mind the lyrics of a hardcore/punk rock band I used to love, 7 Seconds.

"Number one rule, no rules.
Number two, they're not for you.
Number three, they're not for me.
Number four, don't be ignored.
Number five, to live our lives we must break down stagnant rules."

Keep in mind, those lyrics were screamed out at a rapid-fire clip with a pulsating guitar rhythm pushing them forward, but it's not surprising that I had a sudden realization last week that a great deal of my strategic planning and organizational development theory was born out of my love affair with the do-it-yourself, invent the rules ethos of early American hardcore punk music. I guess I should let my mom know that all those late nights booking shows at clubs in downtown Richmond and touring the East Coast as a roadie while I was in high school weren't wasted.

I think that now, more than ever, organizations and the people who believe in them, are looking for ways to rewrite the rules. Which makes my work more punk rock than I ever thought it could be.