(Names, companies, and identities have been changed to protect the innocent.)
I recently got sucked in the dark, black vortex of linkedin, and it got me thinking about my life. Linkedin is a very interesting social networking website because, quite literally, every person I have worked with in the last 10 years of my professional life is on it.
It is quite a stroll down memory lane, as I add one person, then remember, wow, I forgot about that person, hmm, I wonder what they are up to, lets add them too…. All in all, it is fun experience that is almost like a high school reunion, but for an adult professional life.
One of the items that caught my eye recently was, a title a, link of a link, had, roughly:
Catalyst Team Organizer -
Create innovation at Joe Blow Company.
Encourage interaction between departments.
Demonstrate innovation case studies to Executive Team for approval.
I would suggest that by definition, Corporate Mandated Innovation, defines that a Corporation will never be innovative, and is currently not innovative. This reminds me of a scene straight out of Catch-22. Here is the famous quote from the book:
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” [Yossarian] observed.
“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.
So here is the Corporate version of Catch-22. If you are innovative, no one needs to tell you to be innovative, you just are. If you are not innovative, you cannot say you are working to be innovative, because by definition, the very act of deciding to be innovative is not innovative. Ahh, this is also some Catch-22, maybe not the best there is, but close….