In this case, I'm talking about the idea that people can be arranged into a series of steps in a process, in machine-like order, repeating the same job over and over again without complaint. This is the basis of modern manufacturing, and in fact one of the common thoughts of socialism: people should be assigned to the jobs they are best at and all contribute to the greater operation/good.
What this misses entirely is the fact of human nature. People often want to find easier ways in the system, or even want to share the ideas they discover with others. Whether a mechanical or a bureaucratic process, many of us just want to get things done. Sometimes circumventing the system is a bad idea while other times it leads to new advantages. In either case, it is still innovative thinking.
We generally want input from others when we have innovative thoughts. We want their feedback or just share the concept to see if it is useful and viable. If useful, let's face it, some of us just like the glory.
However, this kind of innovative thinking still needs help, encouragement, comparison and critique, if it is to survive. This is where it helps to find other like-minded individuals to discuss the idea with. It could be as simple as a quicker route to work, but we still may wish to share it with others.
Longer term projects or those with wider implications mean that the group that we want to discuss it with needs to survive longer and be accorded the time, tools and means to consider such ideas.
More interestingly, they also need to develop the trust amongst its members to be working to the greater good, rather than for particular individual's benefit.
We should get past the thought that we can't just be cogs within the great machine of industry. Raw process oriented development still requires human interaction and consideration. Gathering into groups to discuss methods and ideas has been with us since ancient times; it's about time we recognized that as formal parts of our jobs. Finally, trust is an underlying lubricant of innovation,
Was Henry Ford's assembly line just plain wrong?