Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival set forth a fundamental framework of 10 Key Imperatives. These Imperatives were intended to help everyone from novices to experts use a structured, repeatable innovation process to Create and Sustain Innovation in order to Innovate and Thrive in this hyper-competitive marketplace. As described in the recently published Robert’s Rules of Innovation II: The Art of Implementation, the predominant reason that even the best and brightest innovative ideas dim and ultimately go dark is the inability of the organization to implement the innovation plans. After all, innovation without implementation is mere ideation.
As discussed in detail in Chapter 2 of Robert’s Rules of Innovation II, organizations often cower from innovation implementation due to a deep-seeded culture of fear and the resultant innovation assassination.
Why Does This Happen?
“That’s not in our budget!”
“Our clients/shareholders/board of directors will never go for it!”
“But we already tried that once…and failed!”
Do the above workplace sound bites sound familiar to you? If so, you are not alone—such chronic naysayers and the power of the status quo (rather than progressing forward with innovation implementation) are deeply entrenched and inveterate parts of many organizations’ organized work culture.
There are innovation-obliterating assassins lurking in all parts of your organization. Frighteningly, the biggest innovation assassins are often wearing a disguise. So many high-level executives will earnestly (and with a straight face) wax poetically about how important it is to change the organizational culture, catalyze innovative thinking throughout all ranks of the company, and dismantle the power and comfort of the status quo. Yet when you delve deeper into conversation with such executives about taking action and implementing innovation, they cling to their security blanket—their status quo—as if they were clinging on to the Titanic’s last life raft in the icy waters of the Northern Atlantic.
So why the discrepancy between what such executives say and what they actually do? They typically aren’t “lying” for the sake of deceit or other callous intentions; but instead, their self-contradictory statements and behaviors are usually due to fear. As stated in Robert’s Rules of Innovation II, “Sometimes, it is pure fear. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Fear of criticism. Fear of change. Fear of being terminated.”
They typically aren’t “lying” for the sake of deceit or other callous intentions; but instead, their self-contradictory statements and behaviors are usually due to fear. As stated in Robert’s Rules of Innovation II, “Sometimes, it is pure fear. Fear of failure. Fear of the unknown. Fear of criticism. Fear of change. Fear of being terminated.”