Is your company culture an Ideal, or a reality?

April 25th, 2013

Most human beings are averse to ideas that go against conventional wisdom

Today’s post is from Michael Figueroa an Account Manager at SafeSourcing

Most human beings are averse to ideas that go against conventional wisdom. Yet, usually the most successful innovations come from ideas that of course, go against conventional wisdom. Alexander Graham Bell was told nobody would want to use and idiotic device like the telephone by the companies he pitched his ideas to. Arnold Schwarzenegger was told he was too big and had too thick an accent to get anywhere in the movie business. Andreas Pavel’s ideas for a portable music player were rejected 5 years before the Walkman when he was told nobody wanted to walk around in public with headphones on. We have a natural tendency to reject those ideas that exist outside of the status quo.

A 2011 study entitled “The Bias Against Creativity: Why People Desire But Reject Creative Ideas” suggested that even those who have creative thinking as a goal are much more biased against creativity than they realize. The reason for this the study goes on to explain, is that all human beings have an innate bias toward ideas that represent uncertainty. At its core, a creative proposal is an idea that breaks the rules; social, procedural, or otherwise. So how else is your organization going to ever be able to fully capture productive creativity (innovation) without incorporating mechanisms that force innovations to go through a vetting process? Innovation might be your ideal, but without a plan, is it ever going to be your reality?

Many businesses claim to foster an “environment of innovation”. But this environment is only going to be as much of a fertile ground for new ideas as its leadership’s own blind spots. Don’t think you have any blind spots? Well, that’s why they’re called blind spots  😉  And without a mechanism or a process that forces leadership to engage uncomfortable ideas, the BUSINESSES innovations will forever be limited by the leadership’s PERSONAL patterns of thinking.

It’s been said that significant change within a business can only be accomplished by business guerilla tactics, by being willing to throw some informational grenades behind the enemy lines of workplace apathy before the culture will engage the forces of change it needs to face. These disruptions can be good for business if handled correctly, but expect some resistance. Without mechanisms in place to capture and squeeze the value out of new ideas, you can almost always expect them to go nowhere.

Some companies balk at the idea of using eNegotiation tools to meet their procurement needs. It’s different, it’s new, and it takes a little bit of study to understand. Forget that it’s also proven. But that’s why we love to engage new clients and suppliers, because we have the methods and track records in place to show why this unconventional idea also has above conventional results.

If you’d like help with your sourcing needs, please contact a Safesourcing customer services account manager.

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