5 Tips for Corporate Mavericks: How to stir up change when your organisation is resisting it

Wednesday, May 19th, 2021

Being a Corporate Maverick is a lonely role.

You’ve been brought in to create disruption, which an organization says they want. And yet, every system and conversation seems to be pulling against that change. 

It’s is a painful place. It’s frustrating. You can feel invisible, not appreciated, not understood. It’s confusing. A desire to flee may kick in.

Here’s 5 tips for how to stay with change, when your organisation is resisting it.


1. Find your allies. 

Someone brought you in, so someone sees a need for you and what you bring. Paddle hard towards that person, and any other allies. Nurture those relationships. Share your challenges, and ask for help.

2. Stay focused on Purpose. 

What’s trying to happen here? Why is change needed? Who is it serving? Stay focused on that. That way, it doesn’t become personal, and you can take a bit more risk in the conversations you have. 

3. When you meet resistance, name it. 

Someone blocking every idea? Dig in with curiosity. “I hear we’re trying to do things differently, and yet I’m also hearing: we don’t do that, or we can’t do that. What do you think is happening here?”

4. Lay out the choice. 

Lay it out: to change, or not to change? Pointing out that there’s a choice can create enough space for change to happen. Try something like: “We’ve got a choice here. We could do this, which would take us in the direction we’d usually go. Or we can try something different. What do we want to do?”

5. Get a coach.

With a coach by your side, you can be intentional about putting these tips into practice. You can be reassured that organisational resistance is normal. It’s a reflection of human ambivalence towards change, not a reflection on you. Coaching can support you to stay calm and confident, as you navigate triumphs and roadblocks in the journey of change.

Being an outsider or maverick can be hard. It can be lonely. But we need change-makers: bold mavericks, with vision and courage to see things differently. We need people like you. 

Elle Harrison is Founder & Executive Coach at Wild Courage, where she coaches C-Suite leaders and change-makers to navigate change with confidence and calm. 

For a fuller conversation on the challenges of being a Corporate Maverick, tune in to Elle’s interview with Lucy Adams on the Disruptive HR podcast. https://disruptivehr.podbean.com/e/interview-elle-harrison-owner-wild-courage/



Photo by Ian Barsby on Unsplash

We coach leaders to navigate change with confidence and calm.

© 2021 Wild Courage