Make It Happen
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There is nothing as humorous – or sad – as outdated laws. Every jurisdiction has them:

  • No cow or sheep grazing in public gardens
  • All businesses must provide rails to tie up horses
  • No walking backward while eating chestnuts

Unfortunately, many organizations face a similar problem: rules and regulations that have far outlived their useful lives. Innovation requires flexibility – yet rules and regulations breed inflexibility.

Inflexibility causes a permanent competitive disadvantage, as other more agile organizations jump into the fray, “disrupting” the market with their new thinking. Of course, they aren’t disrupting the market – they are disrupting their competitors, using the tools of innovation to connect more directly to their stakeholders.

In fact, under cover of terms like security, privacy, technology architecture, and “policy”, many organizations are stifling not just innovation, but also customer service, employee motivation, and ultimately profitability.

These rules and regulations are felt no more keenly than in the areas of social media, marketing, and technology. While the preventers of innovation are doing their jobs, the smart and the quick organizations are reaping the benefits of social CRM, cloud computing/Software as a Service, community building, and collaboration. They are embracing the Facebook Generation, and the Facebook generation is embracing them.

This week’s action plan: Is the inertia of the past stifling innovation in your organization? Look carefully, and identify the rules and regulations that directly impact your goals – and then advocate for openness, innovation, and connection.

Security Addendum: We aren’t advocating a disregard for security, privacy, and similar policies, but rather a recognition that in most organizations these concerns should be addressed in a way that encourages – not prevents – innovation.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)