We pick up the 10 NO’s Blocking InNOvation series with numbers 3 and 4 on avoiding rocking the boat and struggling with finding the right innovative talent in your business.
3. NO Rocking the Boat
There’s an unmistakable signal from management (whether it’s uttered directly or not): “If it isn’t broken, don’t mess with it. We’re not interested in risk taking; let’s just maintain the status quo.” These messages make it clear that good things don’t await those interested in exploring new approaches or trying to do things in different ways. What Are Some Things You Can Try?
- Focus on progress within the current model; it won’t even feel like the boat is moving, let along rocking.
- Determine how you can influence the business direction without anybody even realizing it.
- Look for problems or mini-crises (or maybe even big crises) that will force considering changes in how things are done.
- Look for competitors on the horizon that may seem distant, yet can be formidable threats.
- Challenge the business to take on “uncomfortable” ideas.
4. NO Talent Pool
The company may have convinced itself the right people aren’t in place to make innovation happen. It could be a perceived lack of “creatives” or “outside the box” thinkers. More likely though, it’s a failure to get people with diverse perspectives together and let them work. It’s more about diverse talent not working together than not having the right talent in the first place. What Are Some Things You Can Try?
- Begin to cultivate strategic thinking skills among your team and anyone else you can influence within your company.
- Actively work to broaden and diversify who is brought into strategic thinking and innovation work.
- Look for experts (even unlikely ones) inside and outside the company available to help.
On Wednesday, it’s NO’s 5 and 6 standing in the way of innovation.