This is a very depressing and stifling situation for those involved within the “wrong” executive’s organization. Individuals working within this environment see the dynamic and understand the situation and reality quite well. They often know in their hearts the best way to create shareholder value is to surface a key issue quickly, and they also realize that such a move is a big gamble for them personally. If they are just a few years from retirement, a comfortable retirement, the option to raise the issue does not seem as attractive as just letting it go. No one gets fired for not raising the issue. What would you do in this situation?
This dangerous environment is the direct result of the management style of the “wrong” executive, and it is not the healthiest way to promote maximum shareholder value creation from innovation.
The “right” innovation executive is typically a humble individual who seeks the truth, advocates structured learning, and often works within a very different incentive structure from operations executives. This individual promotes rapid learning within their teams and constantly challenges innovation professionals to refine their plans, assumptions, and causal relationships. Such an innovation leader wants issues raised as soon as they are discovered.
Have you expereinced similar situations? What did you do?