corporate creativity & innovation
Fine in theory, but different in reality! © 2006 David M. Weeks.
10 - CEO's get trapped in Treacle!   innovation treacle
Organisations prefer the status quo, especially after they have been around for a while. I this tale David's suggestion for an intranet based business creativity programme which broke corporate standards immediately triggered the 'corporate defense mechanism'. Like antibodies attacking invading germs it seeks to kill off any challenge to existing norms. Now David needed the support of his CEO to fight back. But even CEO's are slowed drastically by organisational corporate treacle.

creativity & innovation diary From: Weeks, David
Sent: 17 September 1998 04:07 PM
To: Davison, Ian; Willington Jac
Cc: Badnews, Martin
Subject: FW: Creativity web site

Ian, Jac

I'm afraid the business creativity web site has been rejected by the intranet steering committee, unfortunately supporting the view that thinking 'outside the organisational box' is harder than expected.
Martin suggests that I convert the site. Unfortunately, because of the way the site interacts with the users it will not be possible to change it without starting again and losing that functionality. I did not consciously go against the standard (and it didn't exist at the time that I started) - it was just that it would have crippled the interactivity. I was hoping that a site on improving organisational creativity would be allowed to follow its own ethos and be different.

I am now looking for support on this issue, as an allowed exception to the rule that web design standards must be followed. Truly I cannot see a down side for the design that I have followed and lots of upside. Unless the site is allowed to go ahead as is, an opportunity will be lost. This project has been a continual hurdle race for me - I get the feeling that everything is being thrown in my path to put me off - hopefully these latest ones will be overcome.

PS Whatever happens, this will make a great case study of change in organisations!

creativity & innovation diary From: Weeks, David
Sent: 29 September 1998 12:00 PM
To: Perrigan, Sunita
Subject: news & suggestions


I am now waiting for a clear indication of whether I can put my business creativity web on the intranet. Martin has written, quoting some panel that says everything must be to standard. I am appealing for those at the highest levels to consider an exception to this rule. If I fail then I'm afraid the site won't come into being.

creativity & innovation diary From: Weeks, David
To: Davison, Ian
Subject: Creativity web site intranet resolution
Date: 30 September 1998 16:27

I know you are very busy, but I need a resolution (re: previous mails) either way, on whether the creativity web will be allowed to pilot on the intranet. It is silly developing further (and frustrating) until a decision has been made. I contact you because Jac is away until 12 October.


creativity & innovation diary From: Davison, Ian
Sent: 01 October 1998 04:45 PM
To: Weeks, David
Subject: RE: business creativity web site intranet resolution

David, I'm afraid I am also awaiting Jac's return, and I'm in the USA all next week, but we are on the case! Regards, Ian.

creativity & innovation diary From: Richard, Will
Sent: 06 October 1998 04:30 PM
To: Weeks, David
Cc: Badnews, Martin
Subject: Application for Mental athletics programme (MAP)) area on NabbyNet development server

I have had an enquiry from Head Office Services regarding your application for publishing space on the NabbyNet development server. Unfortunately, we are going to have to decline your application, due to a point raised at the last Intranet Steering Group meeting Your LAN request has therefore been cancelled.

If you wish to discuss this point further, then can I suggest you contact Martin Badnews in Net Services. Regards,

Will Richard

creativity & innovation diary From: Weeks, David
To: Davison, Ian; Willington, Jac
Subject: Piloting business creativity web site
Date: 23 October 1998 17:06

Ian, Jac

Do you have any news on this issue?
Intranet Steering Group minutes - 14 Sept, Item 16. Intranet content - It was agreed that the development of David Weeks' site would be halted as this was not a corporate site…..


Eventually after a month David's poker chips beat the two corporate directors ranged against him. With the corporate desire to improve corporate creativity it would have been egg on face if the site had been declined permission. Ironically David outlived both directors who have since left the company. Everything moved into place. Over the next year the debate about allowing individuality on the intranet carried on - perhaps a precedent had been made!

creativity & innovation diary From: Willington, Jac
To: Davison, Ian; Weeks, David
Cc: Tenser-Ways, Samantha
Subject: RE: Piloting business creativity web site
Date: 26 October 1998 08:24

I have given permission for your site to be set up and suggested that in order to move things along I would be the sponsor. That was a couple of weeks ago and I thought that the intranet team would get on with it. I have seen correspondence over the weekend that suggests that corporate affairs still disagree with my approach and I need to chat to them to explain how different ideas are possible without rigid following of standards. I apologise for the delay.

Samantha Please can you set this up . There is an area on the intranet about working smarter and this seems to fit into this category

creativity & innovation diary From: Tenser-Ways, Samantha
Sent: 26 October 1998 05:23 PM
To: Davison, Ian; Weeks, David; Willington, Jac
Subject: RE: Piloting business creativity web site

We will have the area set up tomorrow, 27th. I will advise David once he can use the area.

creativity & innovation diary From: Richard, Will
Sent: 28 October 1998 03:35 PM
To: Weeks, David
Cc: Tenser-Ways, Samantha; Badnews, Martin
Subject: RE: Piloting business creativity web site

I'm pleased to inform you that you've been allocated some space on the NabbyNet development server for your Mental athletics programme (MAP)) application.

Any questions you may have, feel free to drop me a line.

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