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The Dark Side Of Innovation And Change

… and how to light it up again | Some more or less coherent reflections from an organisational development perspective

Ullrich Silaba
3 min readNov 21, 2018


The bigger the impact, the bigger the consequences.
Isn’t that exactly the rationale for innovation, for disruption?
To have an impact?
And everyone wants to disrupt nowadays. But no one wants to be disrupted.

It’s the same with change: Everyone wants the Others to change, so that Everyone can stay the same, but with more benefits (not necessarily for the Others though … ).

Encountered not only once when it comes to organisational development:
We, the Founders / the Management, know what’s best for the employees / the customers / the world! We have the ultimate idea / product / solution!
Btw, we need you to execute it (because somehow we have some acceptance problems).
Okay, have you ever asked them for their interests before you devised your plans? And yes, I know the old story that people would have asked for faster horses instead for cars …

What we do, like, favour, value boils down at least a bit to our own biases, may they be inherited, shared, developed. And if we are not aware of this, all our best intentions could backfire, and not only on us, but on those we have influence on, too. Especially when we think, ours is the best and only solution. Talking about world dominance, anyone?

What is good change, beneficial disruption?
Whose ideas should be victorious, whose shattered?

As the proverb goes, "one’s owl is the other’s nightingale" ¹.

And would it really be good to finally have only one bird left singing?

So my take is that we need opposites, as extreme and inconvenient they might be. Differing, diverse, disputable thoughts. Other biases to balance our own.

We need to have disturbances along the way.
We need to have Shiva beating the drum and dancing the change.

Thesis. Antithesis. Synthesis. Over and over again.



Ullrich Silaba

chief dot connector | collaboration pilot | business romantic | on the quest to build beautiful organisations | sometimes quite German, sometimes not …