Carefully consider some of the political ads currently running in the media and you would be led to believe that America is going down hill. Part of that is the climate we are in at the current time. Russell Moen of Express Personnel in his presentation “Love them or Leave them” talks about the key to innovation is collaboration. Collaboration indicates the presence of a cross-functional team that brings ideas to the table and looks at all facets of the situation and arrives at a consensus as to the most efficient way to direct the organization in resolving the problems at hand.
I grew up in an era when the badge of honor was being a Rockefeller Moderate who did what collaboration means. Now in both governing circles and in many business organizations we see just the opposite. Dictionary.com tells us that the definition of INNOVATION is the act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods.That does not mean being so closed minded that we think that there is only one way to introduce new methods of doing things.
Management and elected officials tell us this is the way we do things and if it doesn’t fit your picture of the world then go somewhere else. The result is that both scenarios place us in danger of falling off the cliff. We reach stalemates which ends up getting nothing accomplished. Problems go unsolved because no one wants to see both sides of the coin.
If we want to be the next great organization then we need to look at the facts and then take the best of all views on the situation and find that middle road which will allow us to arrive at unique resolutions to the problems facing us. Do not waste organizational crucial time by forming a cross-functional team as window dressing. Do not form a cross-functional team whose ideas are summarily dismissed by top management because that just is not the way we do things round here.
Our economic times have put us in a unique place. We can decide whether we as an organization have a future as real innovators within our industries based on solid consideration of all ideas in the marketplace or we can continue to believe that management is the only one who knows how to move the organization forward and take the road to disaster.
The choice is yours, make it wisely.