POPin Blog

Killing Innovation in Three Easy Steps

Great title, right? Just what you hope to read on a Monday morning. Because who doesn’t want to absolutely kill and bury any potential for creativity, motivation and innovation? In fact, we are certain that, morning noon and night, you mull over every strategic step on your way to obliterating all hope for innovation. And we know you take your job very seriously. So, we congratulate you! But for other executives and leaders who have no clue how to go about it, here are some of your most successful methods for squashing your employees’ hopes and dreams. Step 1: Status Quo? Yes, please. Hooray, you haven’t made any changes or taken any chances since 2002. Good for you! Way to conserve energy!  Warning: Complacency is an innovation killer. When managing your team, don’t just think, “Is this working?” You need to think, “How can this work even better?”. This is where you push boundaries and challenge your team to crawl out of their comfort zone. Step 2: Where you going, whatcha doing? Micromanager Extraordinaire! Congratulations, you are ON it. And on them. All. The. Time. They shake in their boots every time they see you. And best of all, they don’t make a move without your okay. Way to go! Warning: A good manager helps groom other leaders within the company. So hire good people you can trust and do not try walking your employees through a project every step of the way. Instead, give them space to figure out solutions themselves. The trust and respect you are showing them will not go unnoticed, and will allow your employees to come up with innovative new ways of working. Employees also need to feel as though their opinions and ideas are valued. When you give them this freedom, you are also training them to be independent and more effective leaders. Step 3: Sssh, don’t say anything. Let them read your mind! WOW, you are going to the head of the class. That is our personal favorite! Of course, everyone loves mystery. So it’s a must to make someone wonder what you think about them and their work. Warning: Mystery is pretty cool, but we think it’s probably best left to books and the latest Sherlock Holmes movie. Your employees want clarity and communication. They want honest feedback, support and opportunities to collaborate. And it’s a two way street. You give them vision and a purpose and watch what happens. Providing a safe environment free of judgment where they feel comfortable voicing ideas will make them feel like they can come to you with ideas.