What’s your message?

innov poster2

Have you been here? The poster is clever. But the reality is that many organizations have a culture that sends these messages.

I’ve seen it.  Some organizations prefer the status quo, others get so caught up in the cycle of association work they “don’t have the time to think” others are afraid of what change might bring. These organizations tend to encourage “dreaming small” rewarding work and people that come in under budget, on time and without causing any disruption or unsettled feelings. Some of these organizations even talk of supporting innovation. But, when the work starts, questioning is discouraged, disagreeing is taken as a personal affront, and new ideas are met with a chorus of excuses…“we’ve tried that,” “you don’t understand how our organization works,” “we’ve always done it this way.”

Organizational culture sets the tone for how engagement and new ideas are responded to.

With the increased competition for people’s attention, time and money why would you discourage any of your team from being engaged, thinking or striving to help your organization be stronger?  Three things to consider today:

Do you foster a safe environment for your team? Does your team feel comfortable expressing relevant thoughts and feelings without fear of being penalized or ridiculed?

 Do you nurture a culture of inquiry where people feel it is accepted to question, dissent, probe or challenge ideas, practices and opportunities?

Does your team treat each other with respect?  This doesn’t mean they don’t question, it means that they treat each other respectfully when they do.

*The poster is part of a “Save the Inventor” campaign posted at the Union Station Metro Station, Washington DC, January 20, 2015

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