in Innovation

Pollard on why innovation is hard to sell

Dave Pollard laments that although everyone seems to agree innovation is important, few companies seem prepared to bring in someone professional to help them do it better. He offers four reasons for this:

  1. People don’t like to change.
  2. Everyone thinks they can do it themselves.
  3. It’s a ‘dragon’ issue, so it involves a lot of trust.
  4. It requires understanding of how and why the market has moved on without you.
  5. I’ll add one more:

  6. Clients want outsourcing to result in less work for them, but collaboration and co-creation requires more work.

Link courtesy CPH.

  1. Change requires conversation. It is also a destabilizing effect on the status quo power structure. Stovepiping or a nucleus. Being pragmatic about it, there is only so much that can be accomplished within “their” purview. Anything beyond this benchmark will bring static in the channel. Now we argue, potentially up to and beyond the point of diplomacy through other means…
    The common cause of argument in most situations is miscommunication. Pick any conflict: marital, legal, religious, organizational… Put in a utopian, Polyianna’s scenario then all cogs work towards the same goal without superfluous friction. Ultimately, proper communication would be able to assuage all such argumentative conflicts. Clarification of each other’s statements. Affirmation of the facts and truth. Dispossessed of non-factual data or skewed supporting evidence. Clear communication channels. Bargaining and reconciliatory concessions on contested issues. Problem solved, let’s press on.
    Exceptions to this scenario are about as plentiful as sands on the sea shore. Here we go: money, power, love, perversion, coversion, hear-say, fallacies of logic, deceit, manipulation, annoying music in the background, hostile environment, superiority or inferiority complex, dogma, misspeak, emotional outbursts… And I’m ready to quit my job, file for divorce, shoot the enemy, become a monk, wear sack clothe and utter diatribes at the passing winds for the salvation of our retchedness. (JK)An extreme way of saying I’ll never speak about or listen to anyone else’s crap again. Why not, everyone else is doing it!
    Seriously though, I hate watching the “panel of experts” attempt to flex their genius rather than work out the best solution. Point. Counter-point. Refutation. Argumentation… Everyone’s yelling now and its time for a commercial. No wonder we can’t all just get along. Competition over scarce resources.

  2. Being in a position of leadership myself, I have to agree with Pollard. Bringing new ideas to an existing structure will more than likely bring conflict and resistance as well. The key is being creative in revealing new ideals. This will extinguish the “change” phobia. Allow the leadership to take part in the change process. This will allow an understanding and aknowledgement of why change is important at this time and venue.
    As for the comment posted by Mr. Pralle, I am impressed with his extensive use of vocabulary (which is the effect I am sure he was going for). However, his attempt to comment on this matter is lost in translation. Also, the same posting he placed on this page was published in The Daily Press, Ashland, Wisconsin on July 27, 2006. I feel that while his comment may somewhat apply to this theory, it is really nothing but “utter diatribes”.

  3. If you are in a position of leadership, may I ask exactly how approachable are you when the subject of change and compromise comes up, especially if it is in conjunction with a criticizm of your past behaviors? Somehow I think there may be more resistance there than you may think. No one, absolutely no one likes being criticized. Even if new approaches are taken to revealing ideas, by virtue of being in a leadership position, the leader is not an idiot. Supposedly. Taking this supposition, it would take more than simply a new approach. It would take a monumental effort of negotiation and at least a bit of attention on the part of the leader. Otherwise, all that results is a loud argument, people getting blamed for things they haven’t done and the leader ultimately learning nothing, going on in their ignorant way and taking their company, or what have you, down with them. Therefore, Mr. Pralle’s points are very significant. If you are unable to translate his use of language, then perhaps you should spend some time with a dictionary. Or perhaps you are a victim of what he is referring to, lack of an ability to communicate effectively. I find his comments easy to understand and sort out if given the time and patience. However, patience is a virtue that does not bless everyone.

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