Radical or incremental when it comes to innovation the key word is confidence

Innovation is an old-fashioned term these days. It seems that to keep it sexy you’ve got to use a prefix. Disruptive or radical, marginal or incremental. We can’t just plain innovate anymore.

In my experience whether innovation is disruptive, radical, marginal or whatever the next buzz prefix is; unless you have innovation in your job title innovation gets passed on as someone else’s job. Innovation is the work of the ‘creative people’. I felt this when I was an innovation manager in an organisation, all sorts of stuff landed on my desk with a friendly post-it attached along the lines of ‘its innovation – you work it out’.

In my view the best innovation happens when people work together, build on each other’s ideas, add new elements, develop new perspectives, understand audiences and focus on how to make the idea a reality.

I think the biggest barrier to delivering innovation (of which there are many lets face it, fear of failure, fear of success, internal politics, external politics, no budget, too busy, too many deadlines, wanting immediate results, the list goes on) is lack of confidence.

Lack of confidence, which is incubated by all the blockers and barriers that we battle with on a day-to-day basis when we try to create any sort of change.

I think it all starts in school. You get rewarded for getting things right, not for inquisitive enquiry, being different or asking questions. Like Pavlov’s dog we go to work and are rewarded for getting things right, for conforming. The only people with objectives around thinking differently or (dare I say it) failure are the innovation managers. Organisations talk about innovation, but their structures and processes do not encourage any different or creative thinking. Innovation is often blocked (see blockers above) or fails to gain traction because insufficient time and resource are invested into helping it succeed.

That’s why over at Lucidity we work with people to help them build both their confidence and their capacity for innovation. Because we’ve learned from our own hard-fought failures that without confidence even the best ideas die on the vine.

Confidence is such a big deal that I’ve set up the Lucidity Network to provide inspiration and a support network to help give people the confidence achieve the results they want. The Lucidity Network is open for new members a few times a year. To find out more and how to join check out this link.

 

One Comment on “Radical or incremental when it comes to innovation the key word is confidence

  1. The seminar sounds good. Regrettably I have a responsibility at that time. Recognition of the need for confidence and building it is clearly pivotal in many aspects of leadership. Innovation is a form of leadership that takes people into new ‘pastures’ and as such is more challenging. The ‘drag’ is greater and more persistent.

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