How can a geek mindset transform your company?

How can a geek mindset transform your company?

Geeky … that’s what we call clever folks well-acquainted or perhaps obsessed with a particular subject, especially tech. They bring life to discussions requiring niche or technical knowledge, and their rather obsessive interest actually motivates learning. Need great ideas? Get one of those geeks on board.

Now, pretty much every company has a geek or two in the team, and they’re often valuable assets. Sometimes, it leads one to wonder: what if the entire organisation adopts a geeky mindset?

Introducing the geek mindset

Geeks are well-known for being obsessed over a particular topic – something a business hoping to be successful should really emulate. In a “geek” company, this obsession applies to everything that has to do with the business. Such companies are hyper focused on learning new things, generating new ideas and frantically sharing information to help the business succeed. 

Adopting the geek mindset, according to research scientist Andrew McAfee, will have to involve taking on the following concepts as norms:

  • Science. Geeks tend to think scientifically and discuss everything within the set rules of their subject of interest. They discuss all relevant ideas and argue on controversial topics, with the person who can best establish facts that separate reality from fiction emerging on top.
  • Ownership. Geeks prefer small discussion groups over collective thinking. When translated to the common language of organisations, this means smaller teams empowered with all the resources they need and the ownership of their work.
  • Speed. We often associate geek companies with tech businesses, and in these environments, they are keen on delivering on a project and making improvements based on feedback as quickly as possible. It will not take you to the end of the development cycle at the soonest, but it ensures you deliver the best product tested and improved in real time.
  • Openness. Openness, in the geek world, is being open to all ideas, feedback and learnings brought about by successes, failures and changes alike. Andrew emphasised that it is the opposite of defensiveness that fosters inflexibility and stagnation.

How can thinking like a geek transform your company

Adopting a geek mindset can turn your company from a collaborative collective to a salad of ideas and experiments where only the best, most-scientific endeavour prevails and propels your business to success. While this sounds like a jump from order to chaos, the shift actually brings in the following benefits:

  • Higher focus. Thinking like a geek focuses every employee and team toward a set goal. More focus means fewer distractions and increased productivity.
  • Greater creativity. The open exchange of ideas facilitates more freedom to think creatively, allowing your teams to come up with out-of-the-box solutions.
  • Analytical thinking. While geeks are hyper focused, that does not stop them from taking a pause to think of a solution to every predicament. This is where analytical thinking comes in, and in a geek company, it is no longer confined to leadership and managerial domains.
  • Improved employee engagement. Geeks are excited about everything that comes up at work and know well enough to ignore whatever gets in their way. Employees in such companies are thus highly engaged and are more productive and happier at work. 

Embrace your inner geek and embrace innovation

The geek mindset is not all about wearing glasses and quoting everything Star Wars. It’s about fostering a culture of curiosity, rapid learning, and a relentless pursuit of improvement. Prioritising data-driven decisions, empowering teams and celebrating experimentation can help your company become an engine of innovation.

About Sam P

EnterpriseZone Staff Writer

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