20 misconceptions and realities about innovation
Myth: Corporate innovating requires freedom from constraint.
Reality: The more profound innovations occur because barriers and constraints are overcome.
This is one of 20 misconceptions and realities about innovation revealed in our survey report entitled, What Veterans of Corporate Innovating Are Saying.
In May, Vincent & Associates, Ltd. conducted a qualitative survey of about 50 veteran innovators to find out what is really going on underneath all the hype about innovation.
Unlike other opinion surveys, this one went deep by tapping the experienced wisdom of seasoned veterans, each of whom remains engaged in corporate innovating efforts. The experience of each respondent on average was close to two decades.
The survey revealed in general:
• Innovators not having enough time for innovating efforts because of their "day job,"
• Managers lowering the threshold of what qualifies as an innovation,
• Leaders reacting to uncertainties by avoiding risk, and
• All complaining about the poverty of insight amidst a flood of data.
Despite significant contextual differences from company to company, the survey found common issues hindering corporate innovating: persistent interruptions, ad hoc orientations to innovating, role ambiguities, and system versus innovating system imbalances.
Three broad recommendations are offered:
• Count what matters, not what is measurable.
• Be "choiceful" rather than reactive by first creating options, so you have choices.
• Neither integrate nor isolate innovating efforts. Instead invite everyone to seek improvements and, in the process, a few will emerge who actually innovate.
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© 2013 Vincent & Associates, Ltd.