The Innovator stage

Lawrence Miller defines seven stages of corporate life that are tied to seven leadership styles dominant during each stage, the first of which is the prophet. The prophet is the visionary who creates the break-through and the human energy to propel the company forward. Roughly the same time that Miller was applying wave-cycles to organizations, Ichak Adizes was doing the same thing, however in much greater depth. Where Miller has seven stages, Adizes’ theory has ten basic stages (with five additional quick-death stages that we’ll omit here). Adizes’ first stage, courtship, is roughly congruous with Miller’s prophet. During courtship, the would-be founders focus on ideas and future possibilities, making and talking about ambitious plans. Courtship ends and infancy begins when the founders assume risk. Along the same lines as Miller and Adizes, and roughly still within the same timeframe, William Bridges developed much the same concept. There’s no great need to detail each of these definitions as Bridges doesn’t spend much time with them either. What makes Bridges’ theory both more complex and interesting to us is that he adopted the Myers-Briggs 16-point personality matrix to explain organizational and leadership characteristics. For now, we’ll leave it that Bridges’ first stage is the dreamer stage and it parallels both Miller’s and Adizes’.

As one would expect, Moore points out that the innovators pursue new products or services aggressively. These innovators are intrigued by any fundamental advances in technology for pure technology’s sake. They are the first on the block to try anything new, simply because of the product or service’s coolness factor. Because they are enthusiasts, there’s a good chance that they will embrace regulatory compliance for ‘compliance sake’ as the argument for good security practices and high levels of availability will appeal to their enthusiast nature. The only problem is, leadership at this point in the organization is authoritative and not much allocative simply because the funds aren’t there for much of anything.

The Main Thing about the innovator state

The Main Thing to note here is that while leadership might be eager to try something new - there isn’t much funding for anything that has a high ticket price.

Therefore, the control environment is going to be one of risk-taking versus spending money they don’t have to mitigate problems that might not happen.

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