Thursday, March 31, 2011

The politics of innovation introduction...

Without mincing words, politics kill innovation.  If you are not careful, anyone's brilliant new idea can be squashed without one knowing it, realizing it is happening and in some cases you are standing right there when it happens in your face.  You might say, boy that's obvious, politics is rampant and everywhere we look.  I agree this is the case, but when you are thinking about  being a change agent within any business the odds of politics killing your new ideas is always high.

Why?  Because all organizations have their cultural attributes and morays and if you are challenging convention the opportunity for the organism to react to something different inherently feels much higher.  Think about it...even if you live inside a relatively new culture, if you "go against the grain" you will have to make your case as effectively as you can to bring about change.  It is easier, but politics will dictate whether you are successful or not.

Over my career, I have been extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to learn to be an innovator with no budget, authority, or people from the bottom, middle and top of the organization.  And in the last few months, I have broadened that opportunity as I am now doing it at a small company with little resources at all.  Having this chance to view driving change from all levels and sizes of organization has given me the chance to think about and formulate methods that enable one to think about any situation to enable them to "innovate in space"  I will spend the next set of blog posts bringing the principles I use personally as an innovator from my politics of innovation deck into the blog.  Much of the content in that deck was created a few years ago, but after utilizing these principles in my work life, I have had a chance to use them, teach them and refine them to a place that I have been surprised that they still hold water.

As I have stated in earlier blog posts, having broad rules of thumb or principles that help you in any situation are great ways to help you make decisions more quickly in tough situations both personally or professionally.  To help you drive change of any kind, knowing what is happening around you at all times is ALWAYS the difference between success and failure to launch that change.

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