Leadership Tip of the Week: Thomas Jefferson and Innovation

Is your organization stuck in a rut or not getting the results you are hoping for?

Maybe you should listen to Thomas Jefferson. He said the following:

“To get something you have never had, you have to do something you have never done."

Thomas Jefferson was on to something. He knew that people and organizations often hold themselves back from being successful. Organizations can become stagnant. They can also become inhibited due to their own success, which can be especially dangerous.

I have been in several organizations that refused to change, and they stopped getting the results they should have been getting. The people within were happy with the status quo and they had no desire for change. They had achieved success in the past and the leaders were trying to hold onto “the good ole days. ” These companies had become irrelevant and they didn’t know it; the world was changing and they weren’t changing with it.

Leaders need to be on guard against resistance to change. As a simple test, listen for comments such as:

- That’s not the way we did it last year.

- That’s not the way we do things here.

- If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

- Let’s do the same thing we did last time.

Small comments like these may be an indication that your team isn’t growing or innovating. Transformation and innovation requires leadership. Leaders can take a lesson from Thomas Jefferson and push their organizations to grow and innovate in order to get better results.

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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.