How Mandates Create Fear not Tiger Teams

Tiger head

Tell me if this is the typical scenario when some cross-functional mandate is prepared for release into the “wilds” of your business jungle.  Rumors of the change raise the hackles on necks of each department like the distant roar of a tiger.  Some hunting parties are formed to find the change and either drive it toward another cubicle village or kill it before it can find theirs.  Soon, the tribal leaders come round to praise this, the change of the tiger.  Everyone scratches their head since there was no substance to their gospel, only platitudes of how much better things will be with the changes.  No mention is made of what happens if this change tears the village to pieces and slaughters every cash cow in sight. The leaders depart to their office caves, well-protected from the consequences to follow.  This is called the price of innovation in some firms.

Why not try collaboration and empowerment to harness the innovation of your company’s top performers?  Let them self-select and give them the strategy and the problem to which they will apply themselves.  Fully support them, both in view of their peers and behind C-suite doors.  Provide them with just enough resources to get started and come around every so often to ask what else they need.  Encourage cooperation between these pockets of innovation with some form of summit.

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Posted in Innovation Management
One comment on “How Mandates Create Fear not Tiger Teams
  1. […] dimension: trust. It’s really easy to understand how innovation efforts get derailed when they are mandated without considering trust and whether it is strong enough. Modern knowledge workers who feel that […]

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