Too often, the Leader of New Growth Ideas, is often an empty position in so many organizations. But the organization that is happy with the same old same old things and getting the same results often has several other layers of upper management over the new ideas leader that hinder his or her effectiveness.
Usually, the direct report for the new ideas leader in such an organization is the Director of Analysis Paralysis. These people have to have endless reports, statistics, charts, graphs, an data that must be painstakingly reviewed in order to make the decision to get even more information to do more analysis. These folks are more interested in scurrying from one piece of data to the other, and are happy if nothing consequential never gets done. After all the analysis keeps them employed.
This individual is usually led by the VP of Stay the Course. For this manager, making sure that nothing ever makes it beyond the director of analysis is his number one goal. This guy will talk incessantly about the good old days and how we just need to imitate what happened then to gain the same results today when the entire landscape around him has changed. Any new idea is deemed too risky and a threat to the established way of leadership of this VP.
The VP of Stay the Course, often has a valuable consultant that he employs whenever an idea is so good that he needs extra energy to kill it. We Have Not Done It That Way Before, LLC if often the consulting firm that is used. The firm will charge a colossal amount of money just to warn the institution of the dangers of the unknown, which the company will gladly pay in order to stay safe.
Across the organizational chart for the VP of Stay the Course is the VP of Status Quo. This individual is happy with how things are and often consults with his colleague, Stay the Course. You can often see the two of them plotting together on the golf course on how to keep things exactly as they are. Status Quo manages two different individuals. The Director of Bureaucracy reports to him with different rules and regulations that must be followed, forms filled out in triplicate, submissions of requests that have to pass through five different levels of management, and rulebooks that are measured in feet of thickness. The Bureaucrat has a co-director who enforces the rules called the Director of Rigidity. This individual is one who will enforce every rule possible with what employees wear, where they park, what can be and cannot be on their office wall, to how the walk, talk, eat, chew and breathe.
Stay the Course and Status Quo also have another co-vice president, the VP of No. In order to make sure that he has adequate information in order to kill an idea he uses information from his subordinate, the Director of Onerous Reporting. This guy’s office is next door to the Director of Analysis Paralysis as he often supplies information and reports to him. Often the mountains of information provided by Onerous Reporting do not matter. Yet they are provided to keep him employed. Any good idea from the staff will get buried in the reporting, only to be stopped by No.
Overall the leader of the VPs is the leader of the entire organization, the Chief Idea Killer. This individual’s goal is to eliminate any really good new idea that slips through the cracks of No, Status Quo, and Stay the Course. Sometimes, this leader will wonder why no new results are reached by the organization when the same things are tried over and over and over. This is the definition of insanity.
So are any of these people running your organization? Perhaps you see yourself in some of these positions. How can you best position yourself and your organization to take on the growth potential that comes from new ideas?