Much of what we think stands in the way of innovation is in our control: our attitude.
In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented people and then getting out of their way; that’s an attitude most traditional organizations don’t have. I’ve made reference to this fact quite a bit in the past, and is a common topic of discussion among innovation wonks. One way to know if you are standing in your own way is to look at your organization from the perspective of “what are we doing to block innovation?”.
For example, do you have an organizational chart that looks like this?
Probably. This is how an organization where management is the enemy of innovation looks like, it’s also why most organizations can empathize with the following sketches:
Can you see how your organization is deliberately killing innovation?
Bottom line: The default state of all new ideas is “NO”. New ideas have to be protected, they need to be given room to breathe. As a business leader, your jobs is to jumpstart progress by enabling innovation. They way to do that is to provide purpose, challenge and support; then get out of the way. That’s how you give ideas oxygen.
H/T: Vala Afshar.