Skip to main content

Samlyn Studios/Getty Images/iStockphoto

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.

Story continues below advertisement

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.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Please note that our commenting partner Civil Comments is closing down. As such we will be implementing a new commenting partner in the coming weeks. As of December 20th, 2017 we will be shutting down commenting on all article pages across our site while we do the maintenance and updates. We understand that commenting is important to our audience and hope to have a technical solution in place January 2018.

Discussion loading… ✨