Oh how that statement rings true in many corporates! I've seen it so often myself and I know people who work in innovation who feel exactly like they are mandated to improve innovation in their organisation, but as soon as they come up with ideas, leaders do everything they can to delay, roadblock or even sabotage them. Maybe it's a fear of failure that drives this or just a love of the comfortable status quo? If so, note to leaders, both of these are rapidly killing organisations.
I've always been a fan of the writing of Rosabeth Moss Kanter and this article for HBR on innovation had me and and others going "How true!". The article is titled Nine Rules for Stifling Innovation and the two opening paragraphs say it all...
"Innovation has become the holy grail. Finding innovation is almost a sacred quest for the solution that will create growth, and open new eras of prosperity and well-being. Unfortunately, like many things called holy, the concept of innovation is invoked ritually and ceremonially more than it is embraced in practice.
For all the talk about innovation, I see many leaders in numerous organizations in every sector who actively stifle it. They say they want more innovation. But at the same time, they seem to operate by a set of hidden principles designed to prevent innovations from surfacing or succeeding."
Rosabeths' Nine Rules for Stifling Innovation are a great read and will have many nodding in agreement. I personally reckon there is a tenth rule whereby too many leaders are viewing innovation as a person, department or process rather than a pervasive attitude owned by all. Great thing is Rosabeth turns insight into action and also provides nine 'antidote' actions to these rules as well! All of which relate to what sort of culture is being shaped in an organisation.
If culture change is a priority for you, ON-Brand Partners has the experience and know-how to help you create a change-ready, agile, culture. One that gives your people the courage, flexibility and adaptability to successfully lead, navigate and prosper, in a sea of change.
Have a read of Nine Rules for Stifling Innovation and think about how many you recognise from your career.