The most subtle and pernicious barriers to innovation at your company could be an unwillingness to challenge the seemingly positive myths about what has made your organization successful in the first place, says Harvard Business Review.
Every organization has myths about who its great leaders are, which behaviours to admire and imitate, and what customers want. These myths rarely change, even when the competitive landscape does. They are most evident when someone proposes an idea that seems outlandish because it goes against one of these untouchable beliefs.
Next time your team starts to take down an idea, stop and identify the myth at play. Ask your team if the grounds for their disapproval are, in fact, true.
It can be hard to criticize your own internal legends, so seek an outside perspective to see the question through third parties’ eyes. With those opinions in mind, reconsider the outlandish idea. Does it still seem crazy?
Be gentle in the process. The purpose of this exercise is not to destroy the myths, but to reinterpret them.
Today’s management tip was adapted from “The Myths That Prevent Change” by Roberto Verganti.