Innovation: Leading Into the Unknown

Carleton is an Associate Director Portfolio Management in Queensland, Australia.

Innovation and well-established organizations are like oil and water—they don’t really mix until you shake things up a lot. Innovation is scary. Humans possess a healthy fear of the unknown, dating back to a time when early humans were forced to stick their head outside the safety of their cave in search of food. The cave was safe, filled with family and protected against the elements; while outside, the unknown waited in the form of hungry sabre-toothed tigers and enemy tribes hiding behind every bush.

The modern corporation is not too different. There is safety in entrenched process and procedure—and the corporate culture that grows from following the rules. Employees speak of “how we do things here.” When innovation forces us to venture beyond this imagined safety into unknown territory, our first instinct will be to view the world as if we were still stepping out of that ancient cave.

As a project manager working on innovation, your role is to help lead your tribe into this great unknown. This article will show you how to lead stakeholders into the uncharted territory of innovative ideas, face the coming change and emerge with a newfound sense of purpose and direction.

Find Your One True Believer
Every innovation project starts with an idea so big and audacious that it can answer the question, “Why are we doing this?” The …

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