Johnnie Moore

Innovation and Status Games

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

I enjoyed Roland Harwood’s post: Innovation is Meaningless.

For a long time I’ve disliked the word ‘innovation’ as it is increasingly ubiquitous and therefore has become totally meaningless. And it was only last December that I plucked up the courage to say it in a public forum (at a gathering of innovation professionals) and was surprised how many other people came up to me afterwards and agreed vociferously. Ever since I’ve found it quite liberating and say it as often as possible, and was further spurred on when speaking with the CTO of a major global company last week who made exactly the same point.

I think demanding innovation has become largely a status game. Too many organisations promoting innovation have become narcissistic. I don’t need to name names.

I think pomposity and self-importance are by far the most toxic threats to creativity and innovation in organisations. We work better with people who we feel are on our level, neither above nor beneath us. Time and again, I see projects floundering as big cheeses in organisations play out their need for status. I love to quote Casteneda:

Most of our energy goes into upholding our importance… If we are capable of losing some of that importance, two extraordinary things happen to us. One, we free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur; and, two, we provide ourselves with enough energy to enter into the second attention to catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the universe.

The current British Goverment dabbles in things like the Big Society and Tech City as if these things are the key to innovation. I think they’re largely vanity projects.

Similarly, I really wonder if we can take seriously companies that claim to champion innovation, yet perpetuate massive differences between the pay of top management and everyone else. These bosses are saying: “The value of your contribution to this company is miniscule compared to mine. But I’d really love to hear your ideas.”

I feel the massive challenge for our society is to address spiralling levels of inequality. Posturing about innovation may just be a form of denial.

Share Post

More Posts


There’s more potential in each moment than we realise

More Updates

Emotional debt

Releasing the hidden costs of pent up frustrations


Finding the aliveness below the surface of stuck

Johnnie Moore

The wisdom of football crowds

Fascinating article in The Times today, sadly already sequestered behind paid registration about in France. Here’s the SP. The club is managed by fans via its website. Most fans

Johnnie Moore

Innovation, disruption, control etc

This is a more than averagely rambling post but when I read Alan Moore’s thoughts about about innovation it fired off a few too many synapses for a really coherent

Johnnie Moore

Pea Soup Wisdom

From Michael Herman’s Pea Soup blog under the title Recently Observed: Under-resting and over-vigilance have a way of getting in the way. Showing up early enough to sit and do

Johnnie Moore

The strains of corporate blogging

I’ve been reading Robert Scoble’s recent post updating his Corporate Weblog Manifesto. He wrote the Manifesto the day after being offered his current job at Microsoft. His update is posted