Innovation, perhaps your organisation is talking about it, perhaps some of you are reading about it, but the fact is if you are not doing it, the words and thoughts are somewhat useless.

Image courtesy of 89studio via

Image courtesy of 89studio via

If like me you find when you raise the word at a meeting you might see a few raised eyebrows (In horror) and a few people nodding in agreement and others wondering if it will mean more work for them… The few that nodded may want to look like yes men so it’s down to one ore perhaps two that want to follow the ‘innovation’ thing, whatever it is…

So now you realise that just because the word innovation is in the mission and vision, values document  you all so proudly developed, does not mean a suitable level of understanding about it is common.

If you take that further and talk about creativity as somehow being a part of innovation you might find other barriers start to pop up.

In the end someone in authority says “Innovate if it adds value to the organisation” to which a Smart Alec replies (probably in their head) “how would you measure that and over what time frame?”

The Smart Alec is right, you can implement change or a creative approach but it may take a long while to ‘buy in’ or results to take place. I envisage someone comes up with an idea to do some in house training on creativity and see where it leads to. Only to find it adds little value (for now) with a lot of time, effort and energy expended, someone in Authority stops paying the bills and the innovation ‘program’ stops.

The next time someone mentions the word innovation a whole bunch of people have a giggle remembering the last time a ‘program’ was explored, while others duck for cover not wanting to be seen as supporters of the last effort.

Somewhere in the process of exploration one of the staff asks for a definition of what innovation means, and starts to compile a few ideas, then matches what is already happening in the organisation and finds there are already small innovative options in play. Seems as though no one told anyone what it was, so no one knew what it looked or felt like.

It seems that sometimes people stand on top of a lookout to see a far off view, while others are enjoying the immediate surroundings, knowing that someone else might be looking back and them from another lookout.

It’s all about the view, if you don’t like it change it, but if it’s already paradise but you just haven’t seen it then perhaps it’s time to get a new set of glasses.

Steve Gray -

Steve is a business educator – Trainer – Speaker (Steve You can get his Leadership E Book from
The info provided in these articles is for educational purposes only and is intended as a starting point for you to build your business from, not as specific advice.

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