If someone is in a position of authority and nothing is changing, then all they’re really doing is command and control. That may be management but it’s not really leadership.
Without a robust and candid exchange of information, no one has reliable feedback. No one is in a position to put all the pieces together and accurately identify strengths and weaknesses. No one can fully measure performance good or bad and identify opportunities for improvement.
Do you lead a company, a division, or a team that seems to have a knack for solving problems—or do most of them end up on your desk? Do you have employees who come to you with their proposed solutions—or just their challenges? Do managers in your company celebrate their successes—or whine about failures (usually of someone else)?
Being a team player in an innovation culture doesn’t mean playing along to get along; it means asking the tough questions and carefully considering the questions raised by others. It means challenging the sacred cows and unwritten assumptions that too often impede progress. It means making connections for the sake of making connections, because that’s the essence of creativity and no one can predict what new insights might result. Sometimes, it even means courageously challenging authority, when there’s a legitimate reason to do so.
An idea campaign may be a great idea—and there are some great technologies available to help you launch and administer one. But it’s just as important to launch an innovation culture campaign. One that will help your people better understand how to think and work creatively.