You show up to the CEO with a bunch of ideas in your hand and he or she congratulates you for coming up with them. The secret signal: the boss wants you out of the office as quickly as possible, and isn’t really interested in a discussion about next steps because your track record in making things happen is so poor.
You get given a pile of money after you’ve argued for months that money is the answer to the execution problem. The secret signal: You are being set up for failure so that terminating your programme is seen as necessary. Innovation takes a long time to come to fruition. If you haven’t done anything for months for lack of money, you’re already over.
You are asked to create a special “innovation space” complete with bean bags and brightly coloured walls. The secret signal: your organisation has given up on you creating anything meaningful, and has relegated you to chief brainstormer whilst they find other “reasonable duties” for you to perform.
Those who were completely threatened by your activities before start being nice to you in meetings. The Secret Signal: They know something about the future of your programme you don’t. When the innovation anti-bodies stop blocking you, you know they’ve won.