Beware of the corporate antibodies! If they are at work, you can spot them in statements such as:
“We already tried that and couldn’t make it work.”
“What we’re doing has worked fine for years; there is no need to change.”
“We already explored that idea years ago but decided against it.”
“If that (an external idea) was any good, we’d already have thought of it. After all, we are the experts.”
People making such statements may truly believe that what they’re doing is best for the company. Or they may be putting their personal interests ahead of the company. Some people also become antibodies because they don’t feel their opinions are given enough weight. Such feelings can cause people to continuously take the negative side or play devil’s advocate. The phrase “I hate to bring this up, but…” comes from them a lot, followed by a boatload of negativity.
This is not to say that anyone who questions the need for change or the direction that change is taking is an antibody. Sound feedback is needed from many quarters for real innovation to occur. But what I’m talking about is not constructive criticism. Rather it is the relentless negativity, foot dragging, and throwing up of needless roadblocks that pose a true threat to innovation ever becoming a reality.