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Information Development: Managing Your Documentation Projects, Portfolio, and People by Hackos, JoAnn T., PhD

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Chapter 13. Promoting Innovation in Information Development

Promoting Innovation in Information Development
 

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

 
 --Steve Jobs

Information-development managers have a responsibility, both to the larger organization and to their staff members, to pursue innovations. When you are being pressed to reduce costs and increase productivity as well as deliver information that is valued by customers, maintaining the status quo is not one of the options. Among your team members, you are likely to have some that enthusiastically embrace innovations because they enjoy the challenge of thinking and doing something new and they believe that innovations can enhance their career development. Others on your team prefer to follow tradition because they are comfortable with the way they have been working and are reluctant, even afraid, to change. They may choose to quietly resist or they may become active naysayers, wreaking havoc behind your back.

You are obligated to find ways to promote innovation among your team no matter the resistance. As Clayton Christensen and Michael Raynor make clear in The Innovator’s Solution,[1] failing to innovate dooms not only an entire company to be replaced by competitors but will threaten an individual department. Your competitors are out there waiting for you to fail. They come in the form of product developers and others who believe they can develop technical ...

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