Why Your Boss Will Crush Your Innovative Ideas

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dryriver writes: BBC Capital explores why good ideas people have in the workplace almost never reach the top decision-makers in a company. From the report: “Surely you’ve heard the plea from on high at your company: we want more innovation, from everyone at every level. Your boss might even agree with the sentiment — because, of course, who doesn’t like innovation? It’s good for everyone, right? Yet when it comes to innovating at your job it might be better to lower your expectations — and then some. Your idea is far more likely to die on your boss’s desk than it is to reach the CEO. It’s not that top managers don’t want new ideas. Rather, it’s the people around you — your colleagues, your manager — who are unlikely to bend toward change. Today, big companies that don’t innovate face extinction. ‘Companies are almost forced to say that they are changing these days,’ says Lynn Isabella, professor of organizational behavior at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in the U.S. But, ‘it’s not organizations that resist change; people resist,’ says Isabella. ‘The people have to see what’s in it for them.'” As mentioned in the report, some of the key questions that the people whom you pitch your ideas to will ask themselves include, what does this innovation mean for me personally — will it be more challenging or will it lead to more career opportunities, and what will it mean for my job — will I get fired or will it be (or was it) worth it? Many times the answers to these questions don’t stack up in favor of the innovation, Isabella says. As a result, the people who need to buy in don’t push for change.

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