Guest Column | March 2, 2020

Is Your Team Killing Innovation?

By Ray Stasieczko, Consultant/Speaker/Interviewer and Host of End Of The Day With Ray!


"It's easier to keep things as they are so, why take a chance said the defeated."

What will 2020 look like? The greatest asset to innovators is the complacent mindsets of those they disrupt. Innovators create visions of the future through their imaginations and bet that the old way will continue using their memories to guide their complacent future.

 Let's imagine two teams meeting to explore the future.

Team One determined to disrupt themselves, and Team Two determined to stay comfortable in current circumstances.

The theme of team one on a quest to disrupt themselves reads,

"Nothing will stand in the way of relevance" Innovative Team

The theme of team two determined to stay comfortable reads, 

"Everything we did we will do better" Status Quo Team  

Ok, some are saying that the second teams' theme is about improvement and what's wrong with that? Some will say the two themes are the same; they both are defining improvement, aren't they?

No! Here's why

When a team is focused on continuous relevance, they will never attempt to save anything deemed irrelevant regardless of how sacred it once was. And Teams that are focused on improvement will always focus on what they did instead of what they need to do, keeping what was once sacred, regardless of its current relevance. These improvement teams will never admit to the realities of relevance. 

Innovative Teams; are built to challenge one another, Innovative disruptors understand that if teams can't disrupt themselves, they will never disrupt the market. Innovative teams take the risk; they are bold; they refuse to acknowledge past relevance as the barometer towards future relevance. Innovative teams will hold each other responsible to the customer mission.

Innovative disruptors will always build their corporate culture around their customers. Innovative organizations understand customer relationships don't survive a bad customer experience.

Status Quo Teams; are built by pacifying one another. Status Quo Teams will protect insecurity by keeping things un-confrontational; they will avoid conflict at all costs. Status Quo teams will avoid risk and constantly need absolutes before moving forward, meaning status quo teams always follow never leadStatus Quo teams will cover up each other's weaknesses instead of working together defining both strengths and weaknesses.

Status Quo teams will build corporate cultures all about themselves instead of the customers they serve. These all about us cultures will keep out challenging personalities and cause an atmosphere of employee assimilation. 

Today organizations must be built of personality diversity collaborating to disrupt not cloning passive personalities striving to remain comfortable. Status Quo teams depend on and then take for granted their great customer relationships. However, Today, many great relationships are being replaced by an innovative competitor who delivers a better experience.  

When organizations are stuck in the status quo, they must look at all components of the deliverable, and yes, that includes its human capital component. Leaders must eliminate what I define as the 

                 "Pasture of Least Resistance"

The place where the insecure corral around each other to feed off the comfort of the past as long as possible. It's those insecure about their future, which will create visions from memories instead of imagination. It's those who hang around the pasture of least resistance, which holds back the organizations needed modifications. Unfortunately there are too many managers hanging around in these pastures.

Buy-in is an excuse to maintain status quo

Status Quo Teams will always use the term buy-in as an excuse to prolong complacency. Innovative Teams will be built of those who never need buy-in because when they started, and those who join them all bought into Constant relevance.

Buy-in is about forced change. Organizations that have teams who bought-in will never face a forced change because they modify along the way as needed. Modifying is a continuous process, and change is a needed reaction based on complacency — a reaction caused as you witness your great relationships leaving for the innovator's better experience.  

"Status Quo is the killer of all that will be invented."   

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