Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What if Your Big Idea Meant You Were Out of a Job?

This question from Peggy Hoffman got me thinking--because of course the answer to her question is yes, we absolutely spend more time talking about innovation than actually innovating because talk is easy and fun and safe and social. Change isn't easy and people don't like it; in fact, they go to great lengths to avoid it. Talking requires no follow-through, no shifting of priorities or increased workload.

Here's a thought: how much would people still want to have the innovation conversation if it meant that their jobs would be jeopardized or changed? Not to play devil's advocate or anything, but that's what this month is for, right? But what if change meant personal unrest for us in the form of a salary cut or a slash in title or just plain old job elimination? Would we still be as enthusiastic? Because really, if you're going to sign up for changing the game, part of what you're signing up for is that the whole game--including your role--could be forever altered. Would--I suppose, if you're doing it right--definitely be altered.

I guess it's kind of like asking "would you be wiling to die for your country"...and also kind of a rhetorical question because, as much as we all love our associations, I doubt many of us are that altruistic that we'd be willing to forsake our paychecks for the sake of innovation. Or am I wrong--would you?

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