Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 01-23-2013

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

1. Unhealthy Internal Competition  Healthy competition encourages achievement. But when employees focus more on beating each other than benefiting their organization, it's unhealthy competition.

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

2. Inconsistency in Rewards  If workers feel there's no rhyme or reason in performance awards, they'll grow demoralized and stop trying.

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

3. A Culture of Intimidation  Bosses who ridicule "dumb" ideas to present themselves as "the smartest person in the room" ultimately choke innovation through fear and ridicule.

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

4. No Organizational Framework for Innovation  Without a companywide framework for fostering innovation, it’s difficult for lower-level managers to leverage innovation as it happens.

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

5. The Pursuit of Perfection  Perfectionists tend to "hide" work until they feel it's 100% ready. But innovation thrives from collaboration and dialogue while work is in progress.

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

6. Protection Obsession  Company "protectors" are often guilty of shooting down any proposals that they feel will harm their organization or department.

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

7. Inbox Overload  A relentless barrage of emails, meetings and phone calls--many of them unnecessary--keeps CIOs and their teams preoccupied with the mundane and urgent instead of something fresh, new and valuable.

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

8. Voluntary Isolationism  IT teams will often "go dark" and bury themselves in projects while closing off contact with stakeholders, customers and others who can help greatly via feedback.

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

9. Clinging to Legacies  Outdated IT systems and processes hinder innovation. However, too many CIOs stick with them because they cost money and/or they don't want these deployments to be perceived as "failures."

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation

10. No Strategic Focus  Innovation teams must always keep concrete, business-benefiting goals in mind during collaboration. Otherwise, it's just a fun but ultimately pointless "creativity exercise."

Ten Ways to Kill Innovation