The enemies of innovation

A list I would love readers to add to…

Don’t see the point

Complacency – “we’re doing alright.” (Rocking the boat will achieve nothing except getting us damp, anyhows)

Complacency – “Our “audience” wouldn’t want it. They come to meetings to listen” etc

Fear – “We might fail.” (And since we were taught at school to measure ourselves by how much better we were than the Failures, we loathe failure and failures. Those who fail are weak, contemptible etc)

See the point and don’t like it very much!

Fear - “The new way might be better and then I would look like a muppet for not having thought of it myself/sooner. And the underling who DID think of it would look good. Can’t be having that…”

See the point, neutral/like it, but don’t champion it

Don’t have time/resources – “I agree with you that we came here to drain the swamp rather than wrestle with individual alligators. Unfortunately all our fellow drainage engineers are off on long-term sick, and there’s no back fill.  So, until they’re back from sick leave, will you PLEASE GRAPPLE ‘Bitey’ – he’s got hold of me arm!”

And, of course, the ways that people pretend to want innovation/improvement and then sabotage it because it doesn’t meet their needs for status/a quiet life etc. are myriad…

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7 Responses to The enemies of innovation

  1. Tim Kastelle says:

    Inertia: But we’ve always done it this way.

    • dwighttowers says:

      Which is exactly the phrase I use, with “quote marks” when the boss and I are talking about how to get things changed at work…

    • Hontz says:

      Conformity. This is probably a version of inertia. It’s the idea that in order for me to get my idea out into the world, I need to make it palatable to a wide audience. This could go to the extent that I need to revise the idea substantially so that a publisher, media outlet, or other “gatekeeper” will open those gates to let my idea escape from the prison of obscurity. In the process of revision, the idea is rendered mediocre and though it sells, it’s crap.

      • dwighttowers says:

        Have you seen Robert Altman’s satire on Hollywood “The Player”? In it a script writer is determined “to be different” – until he gets the chance to have a script greenlighted if he just makes a few changes…. Laugh out loud in places…
        Thanks again for commenting

      • Hontz says:

        I haven’t seen it, but I do think we have it at the library. I’ll have to add it to the list.

  2. leavergirl says:

    Control. (In seeing the point, or not seeing the point — it comes to the same thing.) — This way, I know how to stay in control. The other way, control may slip out of my grasp.

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