putting the “no” in innovation

Innovator extraordinaire Steve Jobs claimed that innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

From Brock Weir’s January 1st piece here http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=5040 there is no question that Clr. Gallo falls into the latter.

Kevin McFarthing article from last July explores the leader-follower dynamic with respect to innovation in corporate strategy:

Why exactly does Clr. Gallo question whether “innovation” is the role of a municipality?

In fact the town of Aurora committed to innovation in its recently adopted strategic plan. A plan which Clr Gallo voted to adopt as reflected in the June 26th, 2012 council meeting minutes which can be found under item #3 on page 10 here: http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/app/wa/mediaEntry?mediaEntryId=60263

If that wasn’t hypocritical enough Clr. Gallo even included the establishment of Aurora’s Strategic Plan among the highlights of the Council term from a separate article in the same paper: http://www.newspapers-online.com/auroran/?p=5052


And how exactly did Clr. Gallo arrive at his view that "it is the role of the private sector to be innovating and coming up with these kinds of things” and not the town?

Greg Satell outlines why Cities are our most important innovation platform in his Forbes piece from back in November:

The centre for civic governance also disagrees with Gallo’s viewpoint as outlined in their book Innovative Strategies: Ideas for Sustainable Communities :

Given that the other key plank of the town’s strategic plan is sustainability and this prototype forwarded by town staff clearly outlines significant resource savings, and the fact that Gallo is a member of the town’s Environmental advisory committee how could he not recognize this?

Innovation is a messy business as Stefan Lindegaard confirms in his article here: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/05/13/yes-innovation-is-messy/

So are we to understand that Gallo doesn’t want to get messy and he’s afraid to take risks?

Well that’s his problem but contradicting and undermining the town’s strategic plan is foolish and sends the wrong message to staff who are doing exactly what they have been instructed to do.

At a recent TED talk Morgan Spurlock advanced the theory that “when you train your employees to be risk averse, then you’re preparing your whole company to be reward challenged.”

Seth Godin explains the double edge sword of risk/reward very well in his recent piece here:

Gallo’s about face offers the town absolutely no reward.

It was Einstein that stated "we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them" yet Clr. Gallo seems more than content to follow the town’s problems down that path.

Kudos to Mr. Tree and all town of Aurora staff that have undertaken this project.

We need more of this, not less.

As this council term draws to a close Clr. Gallo has demonstrated above all else a sense of complacency. I have seen no comprehension on his behalf as to how to advance our town into the 21st century and have commented on several of his questionable decisions here:

William G. Pollard summed it up well by stating that "Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable."

Aurora is ripe for change.

This October there will be an opportunity to be innovative at the ballot box.

A "Yes" for innovation = a "No" to Gallo.


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