Foregone ConclusionsBy Dennis McCafferty | Posted 02-13-2012
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.
"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.
Not all innovation is the same. "Disruptive" innovation revolutionizes markets. "Open" innovation involves partner collaboration to develop ongoing ideas.
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.