Who Does What?

By Dennis McCafferty

Numbers Aren't Everything

Quick-win senior execs demand numbers for every decision, when innovation also requires qualitative analysis.

Fear of the Unknown

There's a constant demand for predictable success. Innovation thrives on the unforeseen.

Stinky Skunks

"Skunkworks" approach will select "chosen few" for innovation. Then expect them to do it as a part-time job.

Failure to Plan

With little guidance given to designated teams, innovation is perceived as "knee jerk" reaction and eventually abandoned.

Follow the Money

CFOs grumble because there is no one department in which to allocate investment for innovation. A good excuse not to spend anything.

Who Does What?

Leadership can't align innovation steps with day-to-day operations because they don't know how things get done.

The Lean Machine

The constant push toward greater efficiencies means nobody has the time to think about innovation.

Fuzzy Definition

Not all innovation is the same. "Disruptive" innovation revolutionizes markets. "Open" innovation involves partner collaboration to develop ongoing ideas.

Foregone Conclusions

Early failures lead to ill-conceived conclusions such as "we don't have innovative people" or "innovation as a technique doesn't deliver."

What's the Incentive?

Other than "attaboys!" there's little career advancement or financial incentive for teams to pursue innovation.

This article was originally published on 02-13-2012