Keith Sawyer hat neulich in seinem Blog Creativity & Innovation das Innovationsbuch The Change Masters von Rosabeth Moss Kanter besprochen. In seinem Artikel Ten Rules for Stifling Innovation zitiert er zehn Management-Fehler, die Innovation in einem Unternehmen behindern:

  1. Regard any new idea from below with suspicion-because it’s new, and because it’s from below.
  2. Insist that people who need your approval to act first go through several other levels of management to get their signatures.
  3. Ask departments or individuals to challenge and criticize each other’s proposals. (That saves you the job of deciding; you just pick the survivor.)
  4. Express your criticisms freely, and withhold your praise.(That keeps people on their toes.) Let them know they can be fired at any time.
  5. Treat identification of problems as signs of failure, to discourage people from letting you know when something in their area isn’t working.
  6. Control everything carefully. Make sure people count anything that can be counted, frequently.
  7. Make decisions to reorganize or change policies in secret, and spring them on people unexpectedly. (That also keeps people on their toes.)
  8. Make sure that requests for information are fully justified, and make sure that it is not given out to managers freely. (You don’t want data to fall into the wrong hands.)
  9. Assign to lower-level managers, in the name of delegation and participation, responsibility for figuring out how to cut back, layoff, move people around, or otherwise implement threatening decisions you have made. And get them to do it quickly.
  10. And above all, never forget that you, the higher-ups, already know everything important about this business.

Hier sind fünf Vorschläge aus meiner eigenen Beobachtung zur Fortsetzung der Liste:

  1. Uphold the age-old principle of punishing people who are associated with failed projects. (That will demotivate everyone from supporting innovative ideas.)
  2. Insist on seeing financial data on every idea proposed. (You can kill any idea with financial forecasts.)
  3. Do not make innovation part of anyone’s annual goals. (To make sure that nobody has an incentive to pursue it.)
  4. Insist that everybody take on innovation tasks in addition to their current projects. (No matter that they are all working at 130% already.)
  5. Never venture beyond your established mindset. (Change is uncomfortable!)

Die zehn „Regeln“ sind sarkastisch oder ironisch formuliert. Dennoch enthalten sie ein Körnchen Wahrheit, denn sie sind das Ergebnis der Forschung von Kanter in vielen amerikanischen Unternehmen. Obwohl Kanters Buch aus dem 1983 stammt, trifft man selbst heute noch in Deutschland viele dieser Praktiken an.