Five People That Kill Innovation

Five People That Kill InnovationWho are the people that kill innovation in corporate organizations? Here is my take on five personas. Let me know what you think and what you can you add.

  1. Executives, who do not get innovation: The actions of executives continue to be the single-most important element when it comes to making innovation happen in organizations.
  2. Incompetent innovation directors: These people must be able to fulfill the needs of current and future markets. They must be able to bring internal as well as external resources together in order to make this happen. At the same, innovation directors need to know how to play the political game that is always played in organizations. This is a tough job and there is no room for incompetent people.
  3. Informal leaders: Some people just have more influence than others even though they are not formal leaders. But by being just what they are – informal leaders – they can make or break projects that can help build a stronger innovation culture. Unfortunately, some informal leaders like the status quo, which can become a big hindrance for innovation.
  4. Key people who miss the bigger picture: Every innovation project has several key people attached to it. They are valuable because they contribute with very specific knowledge. However, they also become a liability if they only focus on their own contribution and fail to understand the value of contributions from other functions or from people outside the organization.
  5. YOU: You kill innovation when you stop challenging the status quo, when you stop believing and when you stop pushing the limit.

It only takes a few people with the wrong mindset in the “right” places to kill innovation. Don’t be one of them.

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Stegan LindegaardStefan Lindegaard is a speaker, network facilitator and strategic advisor who focus on the topics of open innovation, intrapreneurship and how to identify and develop the people who drive innovation.

Stefan Lindegaard




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No Comments

  1. Rod Bell on November 3, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Count me in as a “killer.”

    I don’t believe in “innovation,” and why should I? For what it’s worth, anyone who knows me would say I’m an innovator, but I don’t think of myself that way. I just try to deal with reality and understand it. When the situation calls for it, I try to think of a solution or response. My favorite situations are those where the task is to “think of” a response (as opposed to emergency situations, etc.). So I think innovation is a talent, or skill, or whatever, but certainly not something that should be elevated on principle, as though “innovation” was somehow desirable, or “good.” If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

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