You’ve probably seen it before; it’s the silent killer of creativity and is robbing people from unleashing their art into the world. It’s innovation arrogance, and (unfortunately) it’s probably all around you.
Innovation arrogance, or maybe I should call it stupidity, shows up in many ways:
- The secret group in your organization that can’t tell you what it’s working on because it’s SOOOO innovative and new
- The fancy job title given to the “Master Ideator” which is basically telling the rest of the people she works with that ideas are her job, not theirs
- The “innovation time” that gets scheduled on your calendar meaning that innovation can only happen when scheduled
- The person that comes up with an idea that they really think no one else could ever think of or hasn’t already
- The unwillingness to ask for feedback
- The lack of a prototype
- The thought that great ideas only come from within the company
- The overzealous internal lawyers
- Not continuing to learn something new everyday
- Talking instead of listening
- Not asking questions
- Never looking for outside inspiration
Of course, the direct opposite of what’s above would lead you down a wildly different path. For some, the list is really just a result of their fears coming out to play, for others it’s a lack of knowing what true innovation or art or creativity is all about. Either way, it’s probably a good list to avoid.
P.S. – thanks to Steve Garguilo for the original inspiration around the term Innovation Arrogance, oddly enough while at a TED conference where there is practically none of it to be found.