Seeds of Innovation : Cultivating the Synergy That Fosters New Ideas

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Title Seeds of Innovation : Cultivating the Synergy That Fosters New Ideas
Publication Type Book
Pub Year 2002
Authors Dundon, E.
Publisher AMACOM
Keywords anxiety, challenge, creativity, curiosity, fear, individuality, innovation, position, tradition, unemployment, weakness
Notes curiosity"Without curiosity, a person has great difficulty discovering new ideas. Being curious involves (a) having an open mind, (b) gaining a broader perspective. and (c) asking probing questions." (p. 29)
fear, position"The uncertainty surrounding one's ability to hold on to a certain position within an organization can lead to increased fear and anxiety, which, in turn, can lead to decreased job performance and the loss of creativity. If someone fears the loss of their job, they will be less likely to take risks and may attempt to hide any potential signs of weakness to avoid becoming the next candidate for downsizing. If this fear is not addressed, they may lose the passion for embracing anything new and innovative." (p. 146)
individuality"If we can discern the ways in which an individual is innovative, we will be able to leverage this capacity most effectively and efficiently for both individual and collective gain. [William] Miller's approach supports the philosophy that everyone is creative but that everyone approaches creativity in different ways. By recognizing each person's unique talents as well as their unique Innovation Styles, we can greatly enhance both the quality of interaction within the group and the output of the group." (p. 20)
innovation, challenge"A strong innovation climate is one in which employees feel free to challenge each other and experiment with alternative approaches. Diversity of thought is embraced authentically. Employees who challenge the sacred traditions are supported and not treated as troublemakers."1 (p. 176)
  • 1. The use of word challenge as above gives rise to a common ambiguity. When people are challenged to do their best, this is always seen in a positive light. Whereas, when someone challenges someone in a position of authority, that is almost always seen in a negative light. So, "challenge" is seemingly good in one direction, bad in the other. So much so that the word seems to diverge into two different meanings depending on its directionality. One other instance where a related word has two divergent -- almost opposing -- meanings is the word "power". As Erich Fromm points out, the smuggled in meaning of "power over" stands quite apart from "power to".

    It's one thing to challenge 'sacred traditions'; it may be riskier to be perceived as challenging an even more sacred hierarchy of "power over".