Leadership Innovation Blocks: Are These Happening to You?

Leadership Innovation Blocks: Which Ones Are Stopping You?

Change, adapt, innovate or become extinct — the universal motto of business success. KPMG reports in their May 2015 CEO Outlook findings that 66% of CEO’s are concerned about their companies’ products and services staying relevant. To me, it raises the important question:

What innovation blocks are stopping you from staying relevant?

Leadership Innovation Blocks: Image is walls of marble.

Leadership Innovation Blocks: Which Ones Are Stopping You? Image by Stu Rapely.

Image by Stu Rapley via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Leadership Innovation Blocks: Are These 7 Happening to You?

  1. Putting title and status ahead of goals. In fact, has respecting title and status become the goal? There have been serious examples in history where the medical profession shut out new evidence on treating patients because it was from a nurse not a doctor. During the 1930’s and 40’s, polio was crippling many. Nurse Kenny in the Australian bush was exercising muscles vs. putting them in braces. Her patients were recovering. Doctors vilified her and rejected the results for many years. Doctors rationalized that they were protecting patients from unproven treatment. Yet there was proof from her innovative approach. In truth their goal had more to do with protecting title and status not the patients. Years later her innovative approach became the basis for modern day physical therapy.

  2. Stopping others when you can’t see what they see. This is one of the ironic leadership innovation blocks. The very definition of innovation is doing something new and different. It’s quite likely you won’t see others’ innovative ideas until you give them a chance to make it clearer and clearer. This takes trust and true empowerment.

  3. Seeing only what you are looking for. When you start with a goal, what you are looking to do can block your innovation. This is especially true during innovative problem solving. What you think is causing the problem can blind you to other evidence and innovative solutions. Looking again to the medical field, doctors rejected evidence in the 1950’s that H-Pylori bacteria caused ulcers. Finally in 1982, the medical profession was ready to see the evidence. It would have made a tremendous difference in the lives of ulcer patients had the medical profession opened their eyes and innovated sooner.

    “The hardest thing to see is what is in front of your eyes.” ~Goethe

  4. Requiring logic be front and center. Logic can sometimes constrain innovation. Logic represents your current view — your limited view. Innovation is discovery of a truth beyond your current view. After innovation you discover where your logic was right or limited.

  5. Getting stuck in today’s weeds instead of creating tomorrow’s harvest. One of the hidden leadership innovation blocks is seeing today’s details as more important than tomorrow’s harvest. It’s a hidden obstacle because most everyone believes that today’s focus is critical to tomorrow’s success. That’s only true if tomorrow’s demands stay the same as today’s.

  6. Resisting discomfort. Innovation can be scary. It questions what you know. It suspends your sense of control. It undermines your sense of identity and feeling successful. It is often difficult to spot. Sometimes people pose questions that basically say this won’t work vs. asking how will this work. Other times they claim there is too much going on to innovate now.

  7. Blaming and labeling mistakes as bad. This is one of the very damaging leadership innovation blocks. It sends everyone into the shadows of playing it safe. They will seek comfort and live in the status quo. Admit to yourself and to those you lead that success requires risk. Show them now staying the same when everything else is changing is even riskier.

Innovation is the lifeblood of business longevity. It keeps you current and relevant with changing customer expectations. It differentiates you from your competitors. It is the excitement of change translated into long term success. Don’t be trapped in the status quo. Overcome these leadership innovation blocks and create tangible customer loyalty.

Your Turn: How have you overcome these leadership innovation blocks?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Innovation Leadership: 4 Ways to Make It Easier to Innovate Than to Complain
Change Leadership Beliefs or You’ll Change Nothing

©2015 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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One Response to “Leadership Innovation Blocks: Are These Happening to You?”

  1. […] Leaders, are these leadership innovation blocks happening to you & your business teams? Many are not so obvious. Checklist fr The People Skills Coach™.  […]

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