Innovation Is as Innovation Does?
This story also seems like it couldn't be true, from the Harga-Blog:
I once asked a class full of senior executives whether they wanted innovation. They all said yes. When I then asked whether they wanted their direct reports to spend time developing and experimenting with new ways of doing their work, they all said no. They wanted innovation-as-outcome but not not the process.
Does your organization, regardless of what the top leaders say, reward people for coloring in between the lines?
More than rewarding “experimentation” (which is necessary for “kaizen” or continuous improvement), does your organization manage to not punish “failure?”
I've heard an expression about Toyota:
Toyota is successful because they have a high tolerance for failure.
OK, insert your own Toyota floor mat recall joke here about “failure.” That's not the type of failure that the expression is referring to.
What they mean is people following the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle. If you have a well-thought out plan, a hypothesis of how a change should help, you have to have an honest organization that allows you to 1) measure the results from the change and 2) be willing to say “no, that change wasn't really an improvement.”
Too many organizations say they want “experimentation” but then people, because of fear, do everything they can to rationalize or justify the experiment as a success, no matter what.
We need honesty, not just random acts of experimentation.
Does your organization manage to encourage, or at least not completely kill, experimentation and true kaizen?