Warning: these are some worrying thoughts from the “conspiracy theory of innovation” point of view. Think of them as a creative technique to brush up our worn out thinking of business innovation .
WARNING SIGN #1: Innovation appears where engagement is unleashed
Maybe the best way to have a solid business, with solid foundations and a certain future is to “enslave” (recruit) some hundreds/ thousands of blue and white collars, so-so engaged in what hey do and moderately paid, easy to be replaced at the very first sign of innovating.
In general, we discuss innovation as if it is really something desirable. But we tend to forget that:
- a certain number of the business owners on this planet are reluctant to bold and risky moves, as long as they are pretty wealthy already;
- a certain few of the rest are just willing to follow the boldest ones, reaping what others sowed and grew;
- some of them believe engagement of the employees is to be forbidden as it triggers disruptive, bold, riskier sowing moves of the company.
WARNING SIGN #2: Innovation is informal and messy
Historically speaking innovation was and still is messy in many senses: patents and intellectual property rights involved (an international mess), initially started to solve one thing – ending being used for a different thing (another mess), lots of unused ideas thrown away (maybe the greatest – messy), uncertain about implementation results (messy) and so on. You really have to be a suicidal genitor chief innovation officer to deal with such a mess and pretend you like it.
Informality resides in its unpredictability, un-official aspect; we have it when you least expect it and not in an official position anyway. When playing a serious corporate game, stiffness comes along; it is an uniform as corporate tie is. Stiffness means ego, a politically correct display of power, a career show off, and so on. All – formal. As CINO, you have to laugh a lot more than your board colleagues, to forget and forgive a lot more than ever they will, to spend money on hot air and laugh when asking for a budget and be forgiven when laughing about their spending. You really have to be a disobedient child in a boarding school.
WARNING SIGN #3: Innovation has the force to destroy power politics and hierarchy
By its very nature, innovation means a leap from what is to what will/ might be. It leaves behind something and tries to grasp something new from ahead. It shakes the status-quo. Innovation is the manifestation of freedom of the mind and thinking. When unleashed, innovation is dangerous to the keepers of the power politics manual in a company, to the builders of the wooden ladders to the top. Innovation trespasses, blows away and has the force to convert small minds to higher realms, liberating the corporate soul.