Is it better to ask for permission BEFORE or forgiveness AFTER when embarking on a new direction or innovation strategy others won’t understand until it comes to fruition?

There’s no one answer to this big innovation strategy question.

If you seek permission and get shut down, you’ll never know what was possible. If you launch your new innovation strategy and seek forgiveness for not seeking permission, you at least hope to have something to show for your effort (although you might not).

As a person who early on sought permission a lot (and still often do), I challenged myself to come up with reasons why it’s better to take a chance on having to ask forgiveness than seeking permission.

080808 FYMTMB They have a whole process to ask for forgiveness

7 Reasons to Ask for Forgiveness, Not Permission on Your Innovation Strategy

Here are seven reasons to forget about seeking permission before launching a new initiative:

  1. Securing permission creates delay.
  2. Not asking permission saves the hassle of having to make your case to someone on why they should give you permission.
  3. Your original idea may have to be compromised to secure permission.
  4. Permission is simply another opportunity for someone to say, "No."
  5. Much of the time, no one will notice what you are doing and won’t even make you stop to ask for forgiveness later.
  6. Seeking permission might give people who shouldn’t have it the sense think they need to decide about whether to give you permission or not.
  7. You may not realize how big your idea is, and you wind up seeking permission for only a fraction of what you hope to accomplish.

Next time you launch a new innovation strategy, try starting first and making it so successful no one will even think of expecting you to seek forgiveness; I’ll try doing the same! – Mike Brown


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