Decision makers leave high up on the corporate ladder - they made it to the top. Executives have a stake in the current order of things; they have something to lose if their idea will not work.
After my recent talk at the Research and Innovation conference here in Dublin, I listened to other speakers, and I have got this message. You only start a growth initiative if someone ‘from the top’ approves it.
What is it? Are we still believing business strategy rains from the top?
Let me tell you, the majority of successful growth initiatives I can recall started somewhere along the company, which wasn’t at the top. Making this worse, executives labelled them as not worth exploring or pursuing.
Change (business is no exception) happens in the work of those people able to see something out of the ordinary, the exception the mutation. But way too often that intuition doesn't survive rejection.
While we believe executives are leaders (sometimes this is true), more frequently they are guardians of the current order of things, responsible for maintaining stability and compliance.
The first challenge a new idea faces within large organisations is not surviving the customer test, but the rejection coming from the decision makers.
As a growth manager, you have the responsibility, and the opportunity to explore new ideas and this is your job. Your call (which BTW is not in your job contract) is to cultivate change and to de-risk the innovation effort of your organisation.
Industrial economies rely on efficiency and replication, two factors easily to command. Innovation economies depend upon the ability of human beings to be human, to connect, empathise and follow their passion.