I ran across a blog post recently from Ben Horowitz, a venture capitalist with a unique point of view in my judgment. This particular post is about the difference between “can-do” and “can’t-do” cultures, especially as it relates to technology start-ups. I happen to think it can also apply to any company—of any size—attempting to truly innovate anything. Do you find at your company that doing something new, different, perhaps even radically different, is hard to do? If so, I think you’ll be interested in Ben’s perspective.
In the end it can often be about getting people to suspend disbelief indefinitely, to be able to give up on the notion that they are right and that the innovators are wrong. That in itself can be tough sledding because the skeptics may have significant power and influence. So, read Ben’s short historical perspecitves on the beginnings of the computer, the telephone and the Internet and what some very influential people said/did at the time to attempt to torpedo all three of these breakthrough innovations. Fascinating.
The link to the blog post is http://wp.me/pSsBB-v2. If you are the leader of a company, a team or a division of a company, this post may cause you to consider if the innovators—the “crazies”—in your organizations are being heard and taken seriously. Or, are they discounted and marginalized because they don’t think like everyone else? If the latter, what might you choose to do about it?