I write about the things that matter to me. All opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stop Innovating

The little-known fact about innovating is that you only need a little to get the job done. The rest is hard work and teamwork.

Yet it seems all people want talk about is innovation.

My daughter said to me the other day, "Our generation doesn't respect your generation because we already know technology."

Well, OK. I heard on the news that a 15-year-old developed an early test for pancreatic cancer. I get it.

But the downside of innovation is excessive individualism. There is productivity in following. In admitting that you don't always have a better way but are happy to help the team.

Resume culture, Hollywood movie culture, etc. encourages the innovative, the rebellious, ingenuity. But really most great organizations succeed because a group of basically anonymous people work as one.

This isn't a particularly innovative thought, that we should celebrate teamwork and followership more. But as long as we waste time reinventing a wheel that already works 80 percent well, we are distracting from the substance of work that needs to be done. And that ends up draining our precious limited time and energy.