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What's Happening
The newsletter for switched on people
Issue 50 March 2003

Innovation & Organisational struggles

Over the past ten years I have seen a great deal written about innovation and how this is the way of the future for organisations and teams. 
Sure, it’s true that innovation can meet peoples needs to release their passion, create greater desire for ownership and it can provide companies, of any size, with a competitive advantage.
I regularly see innovation or continuous improvement in company mission states and values statements.  Yet talk with the some people in these organisations and the responses are sometimes different to the reality.  Why?
There are other factors which need to be considered when heading down the beneficial innovational freedom path.
For example will a financial controller get a bigger bonus if capital expenditure or advertising expenditure is lowered.  How would with effect innovation?
Or does your direct report have a poor relationship with their direct report.  How would stepping out of the workplace norm happen in this instance?
What if you work in an organisation with various reporting lines? Who is accountable if the innovation doesn't’t work?
In order for innovational freedom to thrive and give people more enriched lives three key points need to be considered.

  1. will the business processes support it?  For example does a bonus system reward the  opposite to innovation?
  2. what kind of relationships exist?  True high performing teams can support the rewards of innovation whilst other team types may not.
  3. will the structure support mistakes?  Dual reporting has time constraint and accountability issues.  Innovation is another.
So whilst Blue Sky brain storming sessions are valuable it is also valuable to assess the organisational environment to see if your time in the innovational session will pay off for you and the organisation.


Personally Speaking - Celebrating 50 Issues

In the very first issue of What’s Happening, 1998, I said….
My aim for this note, ‘What’s Happening, ’ is to keep in touch with many people at once and provide you with valuable information of not more than one page. 
Well almost 5 years down track and at the 50thissue I want to thank the people who have supported me by, editing, contributing, emailing and faxing WH over the years.  Kaylene Grieve, Irina Burgess, Imogen Blay, Kylie Strudwick, David Siebert, Laurie Day and Alison Goode, thank you all.  We have had lots of laughs in the process!!
‘til next month , kind regards,

PS Thank you Maria, Peter, Andrew and everyone at CIT for a great night sailing.  I’m sure my teams boat had a faulty timer!!!

PPS A march will take place this Sunday from Hyde Park north at 12noon for those people in Sydney who are opposed to War in Iraq without UN sanction (it feels like most people I meet).  Take care.

Kind regards,
Sam Day



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