Opposition begets innovation (sometimes)
Frog design's Tim Leberecht writes at Fast Company that companies should court internal opposition before an external competitor threatens you. It's a counterintuitive yet refreshing look at how to combat the corporate doldrums -- that is, the period when your company is coasting instead of competing, reacting instead of acting.
Companies are beginning to realize that opposition is vital and a certain amount of conflict healthy. Some have even launched internal disruption units that can drive radical innovation from left field (e.g., Anheuser-Busch’s Beer Garage or Google X). As an alternative, companies may also bring in agencies and consultancies--hired opposition--with the mandate to disrupt conventional thinking and overcome groupthink and organizational myopia. The caveat here is that these outside interventions can lead to changes that fail to become a part of a company’s cultural fabric for the long term.
Leberecht's suggestions? Keep resistance flowing long after rollout, acknowledge that corporate culture isn't one-note, and turn your authority-averse Millennial employees on to it, for both engagement and retention. (Otherwise, they'll move to a competitor, where they'll disrupt you anyway.)
"Employees as innovators strive to find better ways of doing business," Leberecht writes, "instead of just following the business-as-usual manual."