Permission Based Innovation

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I was recently presenting to an organization (un-named to protect the innocent) on how to create an innovation culture.  During the session, the question was asked “What changes were needed to make the organization more innovative?”.  I was awestruck with the string of suggestions, mostly starting with … “If management would ….”.  A common theme was around “be less conservative”, “be more open to ideas” and “allow us to develop innovations”.  The last one really struck a nerve with me.

Are you waiting for permission to innovate?

Some organizations seem to be stuck – where employees seem to be waiting for management to come down and say some magic words that will grant them permission to begin to innovate. Now to be fair, this response most likely is the result of many years where any attempt to innovate was met with the reaction from management that was less then encouraging.  If that's the case for you, find a new team.

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Management is not going to come down and give you permission.  Do they come down and give you “permission” to make every decision?

It seems that some people (not all) use the “waiting for permission” response as a way to not take responsibility.  Give it up.  If you are on the team, passionate about the opportunities and wanting to contribute, then innovate away.  If you are not passionate or willing to contribute your ideas and innovations, then go find a job that does ignite your passions.  Life is too short to have a job were you are “punching the clock”.

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I'll make it crystal clear …. I hereby give you permission to innovate.  Any questions?


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