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11/25/2008

10 rules for crushing innovation ...

[ Note: Discovered tonight in my drafts. Although my November talk is over, I think the list is still to good not to share. Edit date shows I orginally wrote it in early Sept. ]

In November I’ll be doing a talk on innovation at OLC’s Innovative Environments conference this year. And if you read my blog often then you know that this a subject area that I am very interested in.

Thanks to Steven Bell at Designing Better Libraries for pointing to this article from University Business on “10 simple rules for crushing innovation and maintaining a culture of inertia

1. Request a formal written proposal.
2. Send the proposal to a committee.
3. Schedule meetings to discuss the concept.
4. Lose the proposal.
5. No money in the budget.
6. "Have you talked to ... about it?"
7. "We don't, haven't, won't, can't ..."
8. "Sounds exciting, but I'll need more details."
9. "Yes, but ..."
10. Quote Nancy Reagan and "just say no."

I think we’ve all witnessed some of rules these in practice, and just maybe even used some of these ourselves. Ok, I admit I’ve been guilty myself in the past of #s 1, 6 & 8. But I’ve worked hard to change # 8 from "more details" to “I’m right behind you and happy to support your leadership on the project.”

With large bureaucracies, formalizing and socializing ideas is unfortunately necessary in order to move ideas forward. It’s hard work navigating through red-tape channels, but from experience I’ve learned that if you’re persistent and demonstrate leadership (this second item I can’t stressed enough) the effort is worth it. The tape also becomes weaker the second ( and third, forth, etc …)time around.

At the Innovative Environments conference in November, I will speaking to some of these points from both the employee/idea generator and leadership perspective. It's important to understand that innovation is more then implementing great ideas. In order to get to the "doing new things" stage you have to get your ideas noticed.

Read the full article and anticipate the red-tape. Then brainstorm ways to demonstrate your 1) passion 2) vision & 3) leadership. Everyone has these qualities in some shape or form. It's just to what degree do we share them with others.

PS: And if you're in Columbus on Nov 6 & 7th, why not join me attending the Innovative Environments conference. From the line-up of speakers and guests, I'm really looking forward to it.

PPS: My talk is opposite three heavy hitters (Joe Branin, Andrew Pace & Stephen Abram) so I'm little nervous.

3 comments:

Cat said...

It's like you've been reading my personal journals! LOL

Bunny Burnstein said...

I absolutely love this! Thanks for posting it!

electriclibraryland said...

We're working to get our "big ideas" idea up and running.
How do we track or 'record' ideas?
the form idea kills? help?