When Innovation Efforts Are a Waste
… of Money, Time, Resources
by Stefan Lindegaard
I just had an interesting discussion that inspired me to write down some thoughts on the innovation work I do – and have done – with companies over the years.
For your information, I most often work with innovation leaders, the people in charge of making innovation happen within their companies. Occasionally, I also work directly with executives.
Consultants including myself hope and believe that we can have a real impact, but we are most often kidding ourselves as well as our clients. We can bring great theories and lessons from other companies to the table, but it simply does not matter if the company is not really ready for it. This readiness is usually based in two things:
- The company has a burning platform. Change needs to happen in order to survive.
- The executives are truly committed to innovation. This is unfortunately rarely the case.
If one or both of these two things are not in place, the efforts taken by innovation leaders and the consultants they work with are often a waste of money, time and other resources.
Nevertheless, I and other consultants still work with innovation leaders even though the two things are not in place. We try to get the best out of our combined efforts. When I work with innovation leaders in companies in such situations, I focus on two things.
One is how innovation leaders can educate their executives on innovation and thus make them more receptive on what it really takes to make innovation work. This is a long and often frustrating process. It can, however, bring long-term results.
The other thing is how employees can start an internal revolution and try to change things from the bottom up. I wrote about this in an earlier post: Changing the Innovation Culture from the Bottom Up
Just some candid thoughts…
Stefan 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
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