These five trusted leadership acts will suck the will for any employee to have an innovative thought.
1. Crush Innovation
Utter “That’s not the way we do things around here” whenever someone brings a new idea to you. This is an effective way of preventing people from even thinking about new ways of doing things.
A variation of this to basically dismiss anything that comes forward as: “We’ve tried that before. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. Forget about it.”
2. Stultify Creativity
Measure employees on how well they comply with internal rules and policies. If you manage performance and compensation on how well people conform to existing rules they will be unlikely to step out of the box and try something different.
And introduce programs like “Compliance Champion” to recognize people for the ways they relentlessly practice the internal rules of the organization.
This gets the message across that doing what the rules say is more important than using individual judgement. Creativity goes silently mentioned. Nothing changes.
3. Reduce Employees to Cogs in a Wheel
Un-reward people – the silent punish – for making mistakes. The percentage of new ideas that really work is small, so most people will avoid the risk of making a mistake when they see others un-rewarded for stepping out and wanting to do something new. Nothing new is advanced. Nothing changes.
This is an excellent tool to encourage people to avoid risk taking and do anything that might be painful for them when things don’t work out.
4. Minimize Original Thought
Insist on arduous analysis of every change being contemplated regardless of complexity and risk. Exploit every tool in the decision making kit bag. Apply energy to the analysis to get it perfect.
This way, execution and learning are avoided. No advance is achieved. Nothing changes.
5. Enforce Compliance
Confine people to act in accordance with their job description and do ONLY what their immediate responsibilities dictate.
This tool ensures people look inward and never think holistically about the overall needs of the organization and how things could be done differently to achieve higher levels of performance.
Does your organization employ any of these 5 practises?
Unfortunately, many do with deep reaching negative consequences.
Growth and survival in today’s world requires an employee team eager to take on new challenges and offer unique and creative solutions.
Resist getting sucked in to the momentum of yesterday.