Innovation Is Not a Democracy, and Other Thoughts

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Innovation may largely be about fostering innovation with the right leadership, but many of those principles can seem a bit contradictory. Let go, but measure. Don’t micromanage, but make tough decisions. Encourage, but put the breaks on when necessary. Promote the “we’re all in it together spirit,” but remember that I the leader have the final say.

What gives?

Each person I’ve spoken with who takes the job of innovation as a core function of his or her job shares something fundamental: Respect for others at whatever level they might be—be it intern, entry- or mid-level employee, management or board member [Gustafson, for example, extends his views of collaboration up].

Without employees, there is no company, there is no innovation. Gustafson says he thinks of it like this: “Everyone is part of solution, not part of the problem.”

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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