Scott Anthony over at Harvard Business Review has a great article on the dangers of trying to get too much out of your existing staff by asking them to take on innovation as a part time job.
In the IT management realm this has become an epidemic of sorts. Very few IT departments have dedicated project engineering or implementation staff. As are result we typically ask our operations staff to learn the latest new product, implement it and hold them accountable for delivering the much needed innovation our organizations require. Oh and did I mention, they need to keep the lights on while they do that?
The key here is that while we all want to be a super hero, we all unfortunately have a day job. When we assign innovation to staff who are already busy, we are essentially compromising on quality, timing or something else. And that means that ulimately we are compromising on the future of our organizations.
So next time they want a superhero, remind them that even Batman had a day job.