Why do people resist innovation?

People who resist change especially innovationI was in a meeting this past week with a Business Owner of a mid-sized company and we were talking about, what else, how to create a social media strategy that leverages his business strategy.  While that was an interesting and lively discussion, it wasn’t the point – it was about “innovation” in his organization – or the lack thereof.

The conversation went something like this, “You know Blaine, I have always tried to grow the business through being more creative and innovative than the next guy, our competitors, but it seems more and more difficult especially in a bad economy.  People simply don’t want change.  They hunker down, afraid of losing their jobs or failing at something new and so the wall of resistance goes up and stays up.  People are very good at finding a million excuses of why they can’t, or won’t, innovate.  We set goals, timelines, rewards, and it still gets shot down or pushed out further and further.  Innovation is NOT EASY – and you would think it would be just the opposite, people jumping at the chance to create something new.”

Any of you feel this way or have this same conversation with your leadership team?  This is not uncommon in businesses today – figuring out how to create a “Culture of Innovation” is no easy task for a business leader these days.

When John and I decided to create our “Innovation Teams” it was for this very reason – CEOs, Business Owners, and Leaders were challenged by their abilities to create innovative environments. We figured a team of motivated leaders would be a good place to start. Sharing and collaborating also is a great way to come up with some new ideas and talking to people who have made it work is also helpful.

For this particular leader, I shared how the world l live in, Social Business Strategy, has been a great way to rally employees around thinking more innovative.  Allowing them to participate in the conversation with their customers at every level in the organization was scary but intriguing…more on that later. I also shared the book, Linchpin, by Seth Godin as a good place to start in regard to the “new ideal” type of employee he might want to be seeking.  The journey continues…innovation will never go out of style.

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