SOURCE: The Globe and Mail

The article by Heather Bordo, who is an executive coach, consultant and strategist based in Toronto starts by saying that “Innovation is risky“. The article says that innovation involves a shift from the “tried and so far considered ‘true'” and an approach which basically is “comfortable”.

Everyone talks of innovation as a necessary competitive differentiator – but there are various factors which discourage innovation to be embraced as actively as it is talked about.

Since what one has been doing for a long time creates a comfort-zone, it is difficult to actively think differently. Our assumptions tend to be “the same”. The longer someone stays at an organization, the feeling of “been there done that” lingers and acts as an obstacle to innovation.
Also, it has long been known that compensation drives behavior – leaders who have spent their complete career in one industry or organization may not have reference points for innovative approaches. The article says that leaders who are measured on adopting innovation will be much more likely to support new approaches than leaders who are not.

Last but not the least, people generally are averse to change and are especially reluctant to try it in times of crisis.

The article ends by saying “Introduce innovative thinking tools such as brainstorming sessions throughout the organization. Get people comfortable with a broad range of such tools through training and participation in facilitated sessions. Incorporate tools to stimulate innovation in strategic planning, problem-solving sessions, strategic account planning and other operational processes. When innovation is encouraged and its perceived risks are minimized, who knows what great ideas will emerge.

Interesting read – easy on the brain – less jargon and good flow of thought.