Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Politiics Kill Innovation - Personal Issues

The most obvious roadblock to an innovator is always personal problems.  Regardless of how obvious this particular post can be, it is important to at least dimensionalize the issue by splitting some of the hairs that make it happen.  As a good friend of mine taught me...the elements of destruction are present at creation.  How does this relate?  Essentially, knowing what is lying in wait to destroy you because of who your are, what your idea represents or the threats the new poses to the people and organization, one needs rules of thumb to help them "see" what lies in wait upon the road to success.  This post will be short because the breakdown of personal issues is obvious.

They have issues with you personally:  If someone doesn't like you chances are they won't like your ideas.

They have allies with issues with you:  A touch more subtle, but sometimes you can lose your innovation head when it isn't your partner with the problem, but those lurking behind them who don't really value what you are doing.  They can then INFLUENCE and destroy support you have.  What is very difficult in this situation is it is like an innovation time bomb waiting to go off.  For example, you have a great idea. You go to a partner/stakeholder/decision maker and sell them the idea.  Let's say they are a person of action and relationships and they say I LOVE THIS IDEA let's move forward.  Then two days later they are in the cafeteria having lunch with someone who doesn't really believe in the way you do things.  They say...whoa be careful that innovator doesn't always do things the "right" way or perhaps its I don't know if I would trust them.  Before you know it they have influenced your partner and you have started moving forward.  This is a common and bad scenario that can happen to any of us.  Sometimes the danger lies around you and not in front, thinking beyond the the partner and the direct line of those who will support your idea is something we often forget to do.

They have issues with people on their turf:  Sadly, not everyone is a collaborator (again another topic). Some, actually, most people are self-serving when it comes to their career.  And in some cases it makes sense, I gotta provide for my family too.  That being said, as an innovator we are often very collaborative.  I frankly don't understand this "bad behavior".  I stand for trust and collaboration.  These are the hallmarks of an innovation culture based upon trust.  Be aware if people are territorial and don't want you there, they will keep you from succeeding.  In this case, if it isn't there idea or they feel they own it they will react very negatively and try to stop you.

They distrust your motives or interests:  Hey, relationships matter.  Distrust can come from a number of things, but usually it is based upon how we like to innovate and the differences that exist between people.  If you are a visionary who likes concepts and they are concrete and need to see things you will not be speaking the same language and thus they might distrust your motives or interests.  Be aware of your differences with people and make sure you work on building trust with those around you.  Every interaction counts and your behaviors today can effect your ability to influence tomorrow.  If people don't trust you their behavior towards you will be negative and ultimately they will not support you or better yet try to stop you.

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