Chapter 17QUESTION Reconsider the Rules

Twice in the last year I came up with some slightly unorthodox ways of approaching a problem. Each time I was told simply, “It would be against our rules to do it that way.” I quit offering my ideas.

—A.J.

If innovation is so important, why is it so hard to support? Why is it so easy to say no before saying yes? Why is it easier to see if there is a precedent for what an employee wants to do?

When your employees come to you with new ideas, concepts, or rule breakers, they want to hear “You’ve got a point” or “Let’s give it a try” or “Maybe that will work.” They want to be recognized for their good ideas and innovative solutions, and they want you to support their questioning. You will increase the odds ...

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