Is hierarchical thinking stifling innovation?

Frequently, I find myself working with clients after they complete a project with one or another of the high-profile consulting firms.  These clients come to me asking – “Please provide us with some practical advice – what we got was good, but it will take us years before we get to the point of applying it, how do we start that journey?”
The way most firms are currently working, within some form of hierarchy, is part of the problem.  Hierarchies separate the people with the information from those who make the decisions, and the people who make the decisions from those who implement them.
Successful innovation and change come from using new perspectives and engaging differently.
Deep rooted hierarchical thinking prevents advisors and business owners from looking outside their hierarchy for alternative solutions; instead they delve deep into the well of their existing industry know-how with the aim of replicating “best practice”.
Whilst deep subject matter knowledge is critical in some circumstances, a whole of business approach can be equally effective.

Horizontal Thinking is applying cross-industry experience leads to innovative, and thereby profitable, breakthroughs.

Being open to looking at what is done elsewhere and adapting accordingly can create new benchmarks rather than adjusting the existing bar of best practice.
When I saw this blog earlier today it reminded me of the importance of keeping open eyes and an open mind so as to be ready to innovate rather than replicate.
HBR – Horizontal Careers
And I will wager that the gent referred to achieve phenomenal personal job satisfaction during his “demotion”.

How can you expand you thinking “sideways”?


About the Author

Eve Diamond

Eve Diamond the small business answer to The Supernanny.
At Smart Accounting you work one-on-one with Eve who has already assisted hundreds of business owners increase cash-flow, grow profits, and ensuring businesses fetch the highest price when it comes time to sell.