07 July 2010

Bureaucracy and Innovation

Two things that go together like screen doors and submarines. In my research, I noted that BAH organizations are unable to innovate (and unable to perceive quality). Today's Globe and Mail provides a data point that is consistent with this observation: the decline of Microsoft.
But why can’t Microsoft innovate? And couldn’t that change? No, because no one wants to work there. It has become like working for a large bureaucracy – stifling and sterile. More important: no one’s getting rich off Microsoft stock options any more. Everyone wants to work at Google or Apple. Microsoft has no history of innovation, and therefore no culture that the innovative find attractive.
For innovation to occur, even in an otherwise BAH organization, one requires at least pockets of UCaPP - places in which the ba-form of the valence relationships can flourish. The more organization-ba one has, the more innovation can occur. Simple, right?

The corollary, therefore is, the more you want innovation in your organization, in your education system, in your public sector institutions, the more imperative it becomes to transform away from bureaucratic and administrative controls, and status hierarchies.

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