Well, to follow up yesterdays "cats versus dogs" post, I have to report that the cats won again. A couple of puppies yipped and jumped with new ideas, but the cats simply looked on with a complete lack of comprehension of what they were so excited about.
"Silly dogs," they said. "Wasting all that energy and enthusiasm coming up with new ideas when we have a perfectly serviceable plan already in place."
"But our old ideas aren't getting the same great results any more," complained one pup. "Why not try something new?"
"It would be fiscally irresponsible," yawned one cat. "The old plan still brings in some money. What will happen if we abandon it and then the new plan doesn't work out?"
"But what if the new plan could bring in lots more money?"
"What if it doesn't? We can't take that chance. Besides, we already know how to do this one." (Cat licks paw.)
"OK," said another old cat. "Here's an idea that we tried several years ago. Let's try it again."
"Did it work the last time?" (Dog looks worried.)
"Well, no, but we can try it again. At least it's nothing new."
"Would it cost us money up front?" (Pant! Pant!)
"Uh, I don't know. It might. We can wait a while and see."
"But if we're going to do that, we need to get started right away." (Dog is ready to run.)
"Nah. We already know how to do it. It won't take very long to set it up. Let's wait for another three months to decide." (Cat curls up to take a nap.)
"Hey!" said the pup. "What about the new idea we tried last month? It brought in lots of money, didn't it? Can we do that again? Can we? Huh?"
"Well, maybe," said head cat, "although we can't rely on new idea to keep on being a good idea."
"Right," said another cat. "People may not want to do the new thing again. Let's stick with the old stuff."
"What a great meeting," said head cat. "We've decided to keep one old idea that brings in less money every year. We're going to bring back an old idea that failed before but might work this time. And maybe, if all goes well, we'll even try successful new idea once more."
Sigh! Does any of this sound familiar in your organization? Have you found a way to quiet the fears of your cats and to encourage your dogs to innovate?