I write quite a bit about innovation. The reason is that it really gets me excited, and I believe that innovation is at the center of every great organization, if it wouldn’t be for that big idea, that differentiator, there would be no massive value creation.
But every organization also builds things their way, and as time passes, it becomes important to their survival to defend these ways. This trumps innovation and more than anything, keeps external influence out.
Just like a biological organism, they establish barriers to prevent anything from the outside to come in and make changes without proper authorization and guidance.
The “not built here” phenomena is well known in the industry, and introducing changes to an organization, especially when is not something that comes from within, is especially hard. This is true as well for smaller sub-units, like departments, divisions, regions, etc., when something is coming from headquarters and has to be implemented without discussion.
We have a saying in consulting and is the “antibodies reject the organ”.
So what is the best way to avoid this type of rejection? I would argue that is to never perform a transplant! Make it grow from the inside. This is why what has been called -quite pejoratively- “management by consensus”, can be much more effective in the long run for some organizations. The initial -seemingly eternal- cycles of discussions, and proposals, etc. have a huge payback in the adoption of the new (whatever new means, a system, a process, an organization scheme, etc.).
Have you experienced ever the push back from the “antibodies”?