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How Innovative Is Your Organization?

Innovation is more than a buzzword. It results from specific skills and habits. That means innovation can be learned.

You'll find a master teacher in David Owens from Vanderbilt University's Graduate School of Management. He has distilled reams of management knowledge into one definitive book, Creative People Must Be Stopped: Six Ways We Kill Innovation (Without Even Trying). You can even take his MBA-level course in innovation for free online. www.coursera.org/course/innovation

Test yourself (true or false): Does your group encourage innovation?

  • Members don't share weird or half-baked ideas with the group.
  • Members criticize ideas during brainstorms.
  • Members are afraid to admit when they've made a mistake.
  • Members don't share responsibility for problems.
  • Members do not challenge one another or ask difficult questions.
  • Manager's ideas are considered "better" than those of others.
  • Members are more similar to each other than they are different.
  • Members avoid "wasting time" on learning activities.
  • Our group space does not facilitate collaboration.
  • Members are distracted during meetings.
  • Members don't capture or review the team's discussion.
  • Members cannot articulate the innovation process we use.
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