The Dysfunctional Innovation Ecosystem

The Dysfunctional Innovation Ecosystem - Innovation Excellence

We naturally think an ecosystem should be positive or encouraging toward their end goal and naturally evolve to support their stated purpose. However, innovation tends to be different. If left unchecked or allowed to evolve on its own, innovation within an organization tends to become an innovation prevention program instead of a positive ecosystem to encourage or nurture innovation. Without proper guidance organizations naturally tend to evolve an innovation immune system with its own (often unstated) goals, logic, and objectives.

The innovation immune system is often populated with innovation sponges throughout the organization. These innovation sponges slowly soak up innovative activities. This often sends a message to your inventors – “the deck is stacked against you”.

Small issues, activities, or hurdles tend to have a disproportional impact on the innovation ecosystem – both positive and negative. Keep in mind innovation is typically an extra on top of the employee’s other duties and activities. Also, keep in mind the employees you most likely want to participate in your innovation program are usually the busiest ones. The most sought after employees for other issues in your organization are also likely to also be the most sought after employees for new ideas.

The Innovation Immune System is much more insidious than just discouraging innovation in an organization; it actually vaccinates participants against future innovation. It trains innovators and others that it is not good to come up with new ideas. There is no map for the maze you must navigate. In general the Innovation Immune System sets up an environment where innovation is discouraged.

If you place impediments on the path of innovative employees, it can have a disproportionate impact on their involvement in your innovation. When numerous small hurdles are placed in the path of innovators, they tend to just go back to their regular full-time jobs. When, through your behavior, you indicate an extra duty like innovation is desirable, you will likely be amazed at the impact. This is true for even a small incentive, benefit, or reward.

The infographic for the dysfunctional innovation ecosystem tends to over-exaggerate some of these issues, however, these are real issues that arise in many organizations. If left unchecked they tend to have a major impact on innovation in your company. The infographics assigns interesting and memorable names to many of these inappropriate behaviors. This allows you to easily remember them, call them by their name, and remain vigilant against innovation sponges growing in your organization or innovation programs.

For Pro Tips on how to cure the Dysfunctional Innovation Ecosystem – read “Pro Tips and Tricks for Innovation and Patents” now available on Amazon.

About the Author

My name is Archer Tope – this is a pseudonym or Nom de Plume if you prefer. The reason for the use of this subterfuge is to protect my true identity while I continue to work in the innovation and intellectual property field. I have been involved in or around innovation for at least 20 years. I decided to write this book because I found some individuals and entities tend to view innovation as more of a hobby instead of a true vocation. This has always bothered me because there is a method to implement an effective innovation program – and it works.

I have over 70 domestic US and international patents to my name. Many of my patents have been sold or used to develop products and companies which were sold to others. I have been involved with startups which have had public exits, got caught in stock market crashes, acted as an expert witness in a patent litigation, sold patent portfolios, helped structure new innovation programs, negotiated innumerable contracts, run development teams, and sued a Fortune 50 company for patent infringement. My view of the innovation landscape may be broad, however, I have also dealt in the details.

Archer Tope

My name is Archer Tope – this is a pseudonym or Nom de Plume if you prefer. The reason for the use of this subterfuge is to protect my true identity while I continue to work in the innovation and intellectual property field. The tips and tricks I typically write about can make existing clients nervous or they could be used against me in negotiations. My intellectual property lawyer has often told me “God help my adversary who wrote a book.” In an effort not to find myself on the receiving end of a cross examination about this book from a client or others, I have used this pseudonym. Please forgive me for not revealing my true identity. I have been involved in or around innovation for at least 20 years. I often consult with companies from startups to Fortune 20 corporations. While explaining how to view intellectual property, set up an innovation group, or manage a development team, I have encountered just about every intellectual property dilemma imaginable. I decided to record some of my experiences because I have found some individuals and entities tend to view innovation as more of a hobby instead of a true vocation. This has always bothered me because there is a method to implement an effective innovation program - and it works. My goal is to outline tools and techniques you can use to keep innovation flowing, manage an intellectual property program, negotiate contracts, or optimize your patent program. Also, I have tried to show what works in large corporations, as well as small or start-up companies. If you treat innovation as a vocation instead of a hobby, you will likely be amazed at the results. I am somewhat unique in the innovation management field as my background includes areas ranging from corporate development, management of high tech development labs, inventor of record, founder in startups, and executive management. I have worked in large companies with innovation budgets in the tens of millions, as well as startups who had to bootstrap their way. I have been fortunate to get a real view of innovation from multiple different perspectives. I have over 70 domestic US and international patents to my name. Many of my patents have been sold or used to develop products and companies which were sold to others. One of my first inventions I developed and rolled out was worth an estimated $100M. I was lucky because, at the time, I was working for a Fortune 100 company and received all of $3,000 for my efforts. This gave me the push I needed to leave the perceived comfort and safety of the corporate innovation world – I have never looked back. I have been involved with startups which have had public exits, got caught in stock market crashes, acted as an expert witness in a patent litigation, sold patent portfolios, helped structure new innovation programs, negotiated innumerable contracts, run development teams, and sued a Fortune 50 company for patent infringement. My view of the innovation landscape may be broad, however, I have also dealt in the details. Others have said my approach to intellectual property is definitely unique and worth passing on. I hope you agree. I can assure you that many of the ideas presented are novel and, if used correctly, can work.

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