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In my experience, people will innovate their little hearts out if you let them. The problem in many workplaces is that ideas that come from anywhere but the top are not honored and there is no budget or other freedom to try new things.

Good point, Wally. Calls to mind a policy of an organization here in the Twin Cities - 3M - which is widely recognized for innovation. 3M has something called the "15% rule", whereby technical people are required to spend 15% of their time on projects of their own choosing or initiative. It is commitments like that which create the conditions for people to "innovate their hearts out"!

Thanks for the comment!

3M is also known for having separate tracks so that people who don't want to move "up" to management can have a career without doing so.

Your comment reminded me of when I helped developed a creativity and innovation course for a large oil company. We'd have geologists come to class who had several patents in their outside lives but who didn't have any work "innovations" to their credit. The most common reason, "My boss didn't listen when I suggested things, so I stopped."

I hear so many stories of people who end up directing their best efforts and creative energies outside their employers, because their managers (or the organization as a whole)does not value or appreciate what they bring to the table. What a tragedy.

Wow - love the new look of your blog!

Career Encourager beat me to it, but yes, blog looks great Ann! What a great way to further accentuate the consistently good -- and widely applicable -- contributions you alrady make with your writing.

Willing to share how/where you get your images??


While I'd like to claim creative credit, the new blog is simply a new design template offered by my blog service, Typepad. I appreciate the compliment from someone whose blog look I have always admired!

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About The Author

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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