Organizations today have policies and rules from here to the moon and back. The rules are endless, telling employees, students, volunteers how to act, react, interact and more. Originally these were meant to give direction & guidelines that support the mission of the organization. At one time all of these policies and rules were probably beneficial. But anymore, they are excessive and are hindering organizations. Here’s why:
Excessive control is killing the creativity and innovation in your organization.
Unneeded policies contribute to the control factor. Under strict control, people often do less and aren’t willing to try new things. They stick with what works, doing things “the way they’ve always been done.” This makes people operate more out of fear, than out of willingness to contribute. Instead of offering brand new, innovative ideas, they timidly offer simple, plain, ordinary input, because they know it’s safe. Any leader that desires to make a difference cringes at the thought of having a “safe” organization. Additionally, morale drops. People begin to feel unhappy and like they have no freedom. They lose heart, start giving up, and become apathetic. So what can you do?
Try these things:
- YOU have to bring new ideas to the table. When your direct reports see that you, the leader, are bringing new things into the picture, they notice. They pay attention to what you do. They will mirror your willingness to offer new ideas.
- Encourage and applaud new ideas & innovative thinking. Seeing that new ideas are accepted & valued, people will jump at the opportunity to add to conversation and throw their ideas out there.
- Be flexible on the not-so-important policies. When you are flexible on policies, those you lead begin to see you as less of a “dictator” and take notice that you are willing to work with them, without the threat of consequences hanging over their head all the time.
- Be willing to let your people make mistakes. When people are afraid they will be scolded or reprimanded for mistakes, they don’t bring their far fetched, but often helpful ideas to the table. When people see that mistakes are okay, they give it all they’ve got. It removes the intimidation factor.
Rules are helpful, if they’re the right ones. Don’t let excessive control kill the creativity in your organization. That damage is permanent. Once you take that path, it’s nearly impossible to turn around.
Want to see your organization’s creativity & innovation explode? Make change NOW.
If you appreciated this, please share it using the social media icons below!