So much of management is Whack-A-Mole, the classic arcade game where you club moles that pop up randomly. As soon as you’ve whacked one problem, another rears its head.
I’m speaking at an innovation conference this week in Silicon Valley. It struck me that the trouble-shooting mentality in management is related to the idea-shooting mentality that is so common in innovation. It’s easier to whack an idea than to grow one.
When a business culture plays Whack-An-Idea for too long, it no longer needs to use the mallet. The culture begins to self-edit. Ideas that seem too risky are discarded out-of-hand.
Companies either have a Whack-An-Idea culture or a Grow-An-Idea culture. Employees instinctively know which and act accordingly.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post. I’ll pick one comment at 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)