Somehow organizational routines have got a bad rep (reputation) when it comes to innovation. "Not invented here" is that kind of view where "tradition" and "custom" takes precedence above trying to do something new or innovative. But guess what ? "Customs" bring us closer to being a tribe which is amusingly one of our basic traits.
But if you think about it, routines is what makes us who we are ! Ideally getting up in the morning , brushing our teeth and so on….. At the family level the "dinner together" or at least "Thanksgiving dinner together" is again one of those routines or rituals that have huge meaning for those involved.
If you think of non-profits that you are involved in, including the church or place of worship – the ones that have reliable routines or rituals somehow make you feel better. Call it a sense of predictability and reliability in a fast changing world.
For organizational leaders, the balance of having routines that are stable and predictable while capable of executing change and innovation is a huge challenge. As sociologists will tell you its never a great idea to remove routines or just stop supporting them without a clearly communicated implementation road-map for the new routines is well – not productive.So particularly in new leadership situations – try to understand the formal and informal routines in your organization and whatever you do – don't scrap the old before carefully putting in the new.