Published: February 10, 2016
In today’s business environment, innovation is critical to the success or failure of a company. You either find new and better ways to add customer value in an increasingly cluttered environment, you play follow the leader with those who do and find comfort with the status quo, or you go out of business as those around you change the game. You lose.
At an intellectual level, most savvy business leaders know this. In practice, those same savvy business leaders are the ones who follow ‘best practices,’ say ‘we’ve always done it this way,’ and ultimately stifle innovation and creativity.
They say they want more innovation, but at the same time they seem to operate by a set of hidden principles designed to prevent innovations from surfacing or succeeding.
To make it easy, they follow a simple checklist:
✓ Play it safe.
✓ Act like the smartest person in the room.
✓ Cling to history.
✓ Use experience as a weapon. You’ve already been there, done that.
✓ Stay busy, there’s no time.
✓ Succumb to (no, rally around) internal politics.
✓ Create silos among your team.
✓ Quickly point out dumb, outlandish ideas.
✓ Punish first-time mistakes and errors.
✓ Count pennies.
✓ Say one thing and do another.
Innovation: it’s the holy grail. But rather than setting out on a quest for better solutions and growth, most leaders hold tight to the concept of innovation as one that is embraced and preached – not enacted. It’s easy to talk the talk, much harder to walk the walk. (We know, because innovation is required every day in order to stay on the cutting edge of digital.)
Don’t be a leader that stifles innovation and stomps out creativity. And if you find yourself singing a tune encouraging positive change, before you turn to your people, take a look in the mirror.
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Need innovative tips you can actually use? Let’s chat!