So you want to be disruptive and innovative, eh?

You fools. I’m barely disruptive, but when I write something different, people say things like:

1. Oh, Laurie!
2. Isn’t she something?
3. Gotta love her!

It’s so condescending and meant to diminish my contributions. It’s beyond cynical — and sometimes rooted in the institutional sexism in my industry.

Oh. Fucking. Well.

I chose this path. I brush dirt off my shoulder on a daily basis. I can do this because I have good mentors who lead by example. But I can’t tell you how many times people tell me that they’re longing to be recognized as more disruptive and innovative at work — especially in human resources and recruiting.

You don’t want that.

Disruptive and innovative employees have good ideas that nobody wants to hear. They don’t speak in a quiet tone. They don’t fit in. They are not good cultural hires.

Nobody likes disruptive and innovative employees, by the way. They are mocked. They don’t get invited to fancy dinners and private parties. They are often fired.

Disruptive and innovative people are influencers, but they don’t care for recognition. They know who they are. They teach us, and they inspire us despite our great protestations against their refreshing ideas. They are influential on a subconscious level, but they don’t need to be told that they are influential. They are courageous and bold. They stand in front of a room full of strangers and offer an informed and controversial opinion — even if those strangers don’t deserve that kind of brilliance.

Do you still want to be disruptive or innovative? Listen up.

There is no roadmap for disruption and innovation — especially if you work in human resources.

Want a map? Make one for yourself. And don’t complain when you are not invited to the party.

Why does everyone hate HR? Join the movement to fix that. Download the new e-book, “I Am HR.” Click to tweet.


  1. You have stated this so clearly. Thank you. I thought I was just an asshole my entire career.

    Being ‘disruptive’ and innovative at work doesn’t come with the praise that is seemingly lauded these days. Innovation is great until a group has to change the way they do things.

    Back in the old days, I wasn’t labeled as disruptive. Instead, I wasn’t a good fit. I didn’t go along with the way everything had been done. I spoke out when I saw a better way. I called my boss a liar in front of his boss (well it was true, and in the end worth it).

    Then HR came down on me like a shitstorm. I will never trust an HR department. I hope you continue to do the work you do to change the way those HR folks do business – so they evolve and cease being a shill for corporate execs who are more concerned with status quo.

  2. Feeling this today. Battling my passion for wanting it to be great vs. someone wanting to check a box. We’re both right in our motives, but the box checker holds the power. wonk wonk.

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