In business, there is an exclusive place for the folkloric hero, who, in defiance of consensus and conventional wisdom, abandons the tranquilizing effects of “good enough” for the energizing elixir known as “excellence.”
Think of these outliers-as-innovators by recalling, respectively, the images of Steve Jobs, bestriding the stage in his black turtleneck, jeans, running sneakers and rimless glasses, holding forth on (and aloft for the audience to see) his “insanely great” products; picture Ted Turner with his “Clark Gable as Rhett Butler” mustache, at the dawn of the 24-hour news cycle and the debut of CNN; envision Richard Branson piercing the dawn in his hot air balloon as he tries to circumnavigate the globe, while elsewhere, his mixed fleet of Boeing and Airbus wide-body jets – each empennage painted with an expressive tick, a white-on-red seal of approval, whose bold brushstrokes and emphatic underline spells Virgin – these icons, past and present, have a common bond.
They are revolutionaries on behalf of excellence.
They remind us that innovation involves risk. Each knows the taste of danger, the ocean salt dissolving into the open wounds of Messrs. Branson and Turner, as the former finds himself descending into the white-capped, green-gray waves of the Mid-Atlantic, while the latter – his yachtsman's hat, with its gold-on-black embroidery of a lifesaver emblem and laurels on each side of the brim – reclaims the America's Cup, off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island, with that Atlantic brine in his eyes as he drinks champagne straight from Auld Mug, the ornate, sterling silver trophy itself.
In the absence of these threats to life and limb, an outlier can still be adventurous – he or she is adventuresome – because that person braves uncharted territory, attempts something daring, ignores all comments to the contrary . . . and moves forward.
I write these words as one such adventurer, where, in my role as Founder and CEO of ImpervioE-IRM System (Enhanced Information Rights Management), I offer an alternative to a dated and inferior status quo.
To understand the importance of this moment, and why so many fields (such as financial transactions and mobile payments, web server and data flow security, health care document protection, and safeguarding movies, music and TV programming from piracy) need an outlier to help them, we must understand the stakes of inaction.
Acting as Technological Pioneer: Defending the Intellectual Capital of Global Industries
The urgency of this issue, which standard solutions (so-called) cannot address, involves the very lifeblood of communications and the safe transmission of data.
The need for an outlier is, therefore, an example of how companies can (unfortunately) develop an institutionalized mindset that favors sales over innovation, until the absence of the latter ends the existence of the former.
In other words, executives must protect their own information – both internally and externally, where the mass distribution of content circulates like so many particles in this supercollider we call the World Wide Web – or they will succumb to the destructive forces that promise security, and deliver uncertainty.
No matter the issue, and regardless of the industry, the rise of an outlier proves an indisputable fact: That the the proverbial powers that be, upon securing their own source of consistent revenues and profits, and by perpetuating that system with slogans and aggressive marketing, have reduced innovation to yet another catchphrase; it is a label, not a phenomenon.
The lesson for executives is simple – never champion caution at the expense of excellence.
Instead, be an outlier who transforms things. Be a leader, in every sense of the word, by creating services no one else has.
Be the agent of change, period.
Randy Reaney is the Founder and and Co-CEO of Impervio Technologies Inc., which proudly introduces their Impervio E-IRM System (Enhanced Information Rights Management), a dynamic new software company comprised of some of the world’s brightest and most sought-after security, software and technology experts. He has over twenty-five years of global business experience with organizations in the software, banking, real estate, media, sales and marketing fields.