Innovation is a cultural issue which begins with a willingness to try something new. But what sounds straightforward is really anything but because it goes against everything culturally anchored in our organisations. Organisations are designed for self-preservation and change is often seen as a threat. These roots go so deep that it even comes across in our language. Words like “maverick” hold negative connotations, also meaning a troublemaker, someone who does not fit into existing structures. Successful innovation starts with using the right language which, while not always easy, helps to better integrate things and give them their proper value.
The creative input of each employee is more important than his physical effort or sheer presence in the workplace. We need to learn to let these things go. Firm office structures and times are not optimal conditions for an innovative corporate culture: the more complex these become, the more space they occupy - especially in the minds of employees. This leads to a situation where everyone only moves inside the staked playing field; knowledge no longer circulates freely.
We need the confidence that beyond the already defined horizons exciting possibilities await us. "Whoever pinches at the small flickering point fixed in the sky sees little. We see best at the pupil edge. There lie the surprises." (Wolf Lotter)