PUF and Bob Rowe Hand Out 17 Awards
Steve Mitnick has authored four books on the economics, history, and people of the utilities industries. While in the consulting practice leadership of McKinsey & Co. and Marsh & McLennan, he advised utility leaders. He led a transmission development company and was a New York Governor’s chief energy advisor. Mitnick was an expert witness appearing before utility regulatory commissions of six states, D.C., FERC, and in Canada, and taught microeconomics, macroeconomics, and statistics at Georgetown University.
Innovating can be a lonely act. Innovators, yes, surely collaborate. They surely hear, see, and learn from others with acuity. But history's inventors and discoverers have told us time and time again that breakthroughs were realized unexpectedly, often in quiet moments, often when thinking in solitude about something else.
Even for innovative teams, it is commonly said that a team member came across a revelation when alone, that when brought back to the team, the group then went into overdrive to bring the idea to life. In that respect, individual creation and team collaboration are cycles of the innovative process.
Here's another consideration. Innovations overwhelmingly fail. Most run right into barriers that are impossible to overcome. They're too expensive, or they don't really solve the problem, or they cannot possibly command support, or any of a number of other tall brick walls.
While if you're in an operations job, your accomplishments are clearly recognizable, if you're in an innovating job, and an innovation fails, as is usually the case, your lack of accomplishments are clear for all to see. No matter how many times the boss says failing fast is fine, failing is a sign of, well, failure.