You have permission to ask dumb questions.
You have permission to push a square peg into a round hole.
You have permission to resist everything that is telling you otherwise.
You have permission to disrupt.
If you don’t disrupt, dumb things happen
You may have seen some variation of this story on the web.
“This old boy down home”
His wife sent him to the store for a ham. After he bought it, she asked him why he didn’t have the butcher cut off the end of the ham. “This old boy” asked his wife why she wanted the end cut off. She replied that her mother had always done it that way and that was reason enough for her. Since the wife’s mother was visiting, they asked her why she always cut off the end of the ham. Mother replied that this was the way her mother did it; Mother, daughter and “this old boy” then decided to call grandmother and solve this three-generation mystery. Grandmother promptly replied that she cut the end of the ham because her roaster was too small to cook it in one piece.
It’s easy to innovate when you are in a new environment. When you first walk into a new office, you can ask dumb questions: “why does John always show up late?” Or “why do we fill out these stupid TPS reports?” We are new, and we “have a pass” to ask these questions. They aren’t disruptive. They are forgiven.
But before long, the tolerance for the dumb questions disappears. The status quo abhors innovation, so when someone asks piercing questions about methodology and process, the status quo has a league of supporters that respond, “we can’t possibly do it that way.” Eventually, most people cave to the pressure and cut off the end of the ham.
True innovators relentlessly pursue these questions and insist on change. They seek loopholes and exceptions to try something different, and they refuse to accept “because that’s the way we’ve always done it” as a valid answer. Innovators are cavalier because they have a belief that certain rules simply don’t apply to them.
You have permission to innovate, and if anyone has a problem with it, then tell them to email me. That probably won’t get you far, but here’s the truth, if they are going to fire you because you are trying to innovate, then it’s not the right place to be in the first place. I’ve said before, do something worthy of getting fired, and disrupting the status quo to innovate is a worthy cause.
Viva la Innovacion!