Innovation is hard. Really hard. So hard that true innovation is rare. Most of what we see as innovative is increments, improvements, on existing products and services. With that said, it’s really easy to sabotage your innovation efforts when you don’t understand what you’re getting yourself into.
This is a post I’m writing for my friend Jesus, who’s taking on a leadership challenge…
To thrive in chaos and adapt to change requires the mental preparedness to modify one’s thoughts at a moment’s notice. As an entrepreneur, I’m well adapted to chaos. I actually want it. Most people don’t. They love that they have a routine and structured day. Any chaos drives them crazy. It drains their energy. But life is chaotic. So how do you deal with chaos?
I recently witnessed a manager use fear as motivator with someone who’d rather not have a lot of responsibility on his hands. Frankly, this is the wrong person to challenge. But the bigger problem is this manager, and every other higher up in this company, uses fear to motivate people all the time!
Rebels, misfits, renegades, heretics or troublemakers whatever you call them, are commonly seen as difficult to work with. Why? Because their strengths (driven, talented, smart and impatient in achieving outcomes) can sometimes make them come across as assholes and go rogue.
Why do organizations fail? There are many reasons, mostly because they become irrelevant by failing to evolve and adapt to a changing world. The reasons this happens are many, but one thing is certain: organizations where everyone agrees with each other, where no friction exists, and where no one challenges the status-quo is certain to miss the future and eventually fail.
Why do established businesses fail? Because they miss the future. And what contributes to them missing the future? Many things, among them is a focus on maintaining the status-quo while avoiding uncertainty.
Here’s a short story of how innovation dies inside established organizations that have a short-term results focus…
How do you put creativity to work? How do you implement it so it delivers innovation? What does a culture of innovation look like? There are no shortage of innovative companies to draw inspiration from who have been able to transform themselves. Though you can’t copy their culture and strategy, but you can certainly learn a few things.