Game-changers: what do they do differently?

Game-changers: what do they do differently?

Every organisation needs game-changers: they identify business opportunities others don’t and come up with innovative ideas others overlook. They think differently and have the power to disrupt and transform the landscape in their world. They permanently live outside of the comfort zone, break the rules and take hoary old clichés like “blue sky thinking” and “pushing the envelope” to whole new levels.

In the fast-paced world of digital transformation, they are even more vital to have in an organisation. Indeed, game-changers not only alter the landscape of a company but entire industries and sectors, too. Consider how, for example, the game-changing founders of Airbnb and Uber turned their respective industries on their head.

Not all leaders have the inherent characteristics to be a game-changer though. And while being one is not a prerequisite of being a great leader, all leaders must be able to spot a game-changer and harness their potential to make a difference.

What is it then that makes someone a game-changer and what do they do differently? Personality-wise, there is no one-size-fits-all. It might be expected they are extroverts and larger-than-life individuals but introverts and deep-thinkers can equally change the game. Typically, though, they are risk-taking, obsessively driven, future-focused and visionary thinkers.

84 per cent of leaders believe that the game can be changed by people who aren’t in a senior management position

Game-changers also excel at joining the dots and connecting the unconnected where others struggle to come up with solutions. Undoubtedly, they are creative, passionate about their ideas but also mavericks who tear up the rulebook. They sense potential where something needs or can change – whether it is a product, service, process or business model – and what the outcome should be, but they won’t necessarily always be able to articulate it.

As a result, they need to have supportive relationships in the business or their teams with individuals who understand where the game-changer is coming from.

The DNA of a Game-Changer report by the GC Index, a Rialto Consultancy partner company, reveals that game changers exist at every level of the organisation and 84 per cent of leaders believe that the game can be changed by people who aren’t in senior management positions.

Many organisations might perceive they want a game-changer but, in reality, the individual’s actions can prove unsettling for the board who then become resistant to the change. It is therefore important that the board and senior colleagues understand the role of the game-changer, that the culture is supportive and there is an understanding of what they have been brought in to achieve.

If everyone was a game-changer, organisations wouldn’t function efficiently. But with the right blend of skills and characteristics to support them, their full potential can be harnessed without any downsides for the organisation or those around them.

At a time when a premium is being placed on innovation and organisations must be able to react quickly to changing markets and customer demands, game-changers at all levels of the organisation must be quickly identified and nurtured.

So ask yourself, do you know who your gamechangers are? How well do you understand them? And are you fully supporting them?


To find out more about Rialto’s game changing leadership programme, contact us today.


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