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Organizing your firm around average performers used to be acceptable in the old world order, where companies hired automatons and attempted to profit from increased efficiencies and economies of scale. But it’s no longer enough in the new world order, where a motivated, creative performer can generate 100x or 10,000x what they’re paid. So says Seth Godin in his new book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Organizing your firm around average performers used to be acceptable in the old world order, where companies hired automatons and attempted to profit from increased efficiencies and economies of scale. But it’s no longer enough in the new world order, where a motivated, creative performer can generate 100x or 10,000x what they’re paid. So says Seth Godin in his new book, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Think Jonathan Ives, who championed the innovative design of the iPod at Apple -and revolutionized the music business. Or consider the salesperson who opens up a whole new territory or niche for sales of your company’s product, rather than just going down the call list, doing only what’s required in his job description.

Creativity, Godin implies, can make a huge difference in your business, powering it to results that are not just incrementally better, but dramatically better than your competitors:

“The freestyle world of idea creation and idea manipulation offers dramatic differences between the merely good and the truly great,” he explains.

But, he concludes, the majority of companies and people are apparently content to maintain the status quo, by hiring people who are content to follow the rules, to check their brains at the door, to do what their told, following the factory production model that aims to minimize variations and to incrementally improve around key performance indicators:

“Organizing around the average… is too expensive. Organizing around average means that the organization has exchanged the high productivity of exceptional performance for the ease and security of an endless parade of average performers.”

So what is your company’s attitude toward creative mavericks? Do you embrace them, celebrate their ideas and reward them? Or do you push them to the fringes of the company, where they can’t do much harm?

Want to learn how to become a linchpin, an indispensable person who contributes at a high level to the future of your company? Then read Godin’s new book – and give some serious thought to picking up my new e-book, Creativity Hacks, which arms you with the tools and resources you need to make a difference in your organization!

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