Chapter 15. Encouraging Continued Dissent

Getting employees to dissent once or on one item does not promote an innovative culture. It must be an ongoing process in which employees become increasingly comfortable challenging what is happening. The manager needs to understand how he can help to promote this culture.


As we have seen, transforming a culture into one that is more innovative requires three things. The first is an infrastructure that helps the transition from the old culture to the new. The second are changes to the current processes and mechanisms that currently support an efficiency-only culture. The final and most important piece is the ability of all managers at all levels to actively promote dissent. This is where the rubber hits the road, where cultural change either happens or dies. Not through some magic bullet fired from the top of the organization, but by every one at every level making an honest attempt to foster innovation in their little patch of the world.

The actions described below can and should be used by all levels of management, from the most junior to the most senior. Executives as well as supervisors need to be able to encourage dissent and innovationin their direct reports. If executives encourage dissent among their managers, they sanction it for the rest of the organization. Those direct report managers are more likely to encourage the behavior among their own staff.

This chapter will cover five things you can do with your group to promote ...

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