“Here’s to the crazy ones,” said Steve Jobs, because in them he saw genius.“ The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

We’re brought up to conform. To live life to the school bell, to the clock; to live it the way we are expected and not to question what we are taught. It’s a traditional ‘top-down’ approach and throwing the rule book away when it comes to innovation and invention is what helped make companies like Apple great.

“What we need in today’s open-market environment are agile, people-centred companies able to unleash human passion and potential,” says Michael Lurie, VP of Enterprise Solutions at The Ken Blanchard Companies. “I like the Jobs quote because it exposes how the leadership style most people were trained in years ago—certainly leaders over 40—was designed to avoid and prevent disruption, whereas today leaders need to embrace disruption, see the opportunities it presents, and step forward boldly to shape the future.”

Lurie is right. In the past twenty years, the globalisation of digital technologies, the market system, and education have been sweeping away the pillars supporting protected markets and traditional company command systems, transforming the industrial economy into the information economy. New technologies are now so flexible they can unleash the full individual and collective ingenuity and energy of billions around the world. We now have huge choice, and we are more diverse and demanding. Markets have to evolve to thrive and survive.

According to Lurie, this means we need to switch from a traditional management, which was largely about planning, directing, and controlling, and now seek to become leaders who can become catalysts, architects, and coaches. Catalysts focus not on competition or preservation, because capital is no longer scarce. Today a company’s most valuable resources are human resources, and human resources which are infinite. There is no end to the ingenuity, hard work, passion, love, and commitment that have always been, and will always be, responsible for every human creation.

Architects are skilled at designing companies that are collaborative and continuously evolving networks that create increasing value for all stakeholders, rather than managing traditional operation planning models. And coaches focus on “soft” people-skill sets, whether at the level of individuals, teams, or the organisation as a whole, to unleash the full passion and potential of people by recognising and appreciating talents.

For companies looking to generate exceptional short-term performance and sustainable, high-value long-term growth, these capabilities are essential. Leaders who embrace them will unleash the crazy ones to create great, enduring enterprises that will thrive in twenty-first-century open markets.