Story by Steve Wunker
Everyone loves innovation. Yet people tasked with starting an innovation program quickly find that there are innumerable roadblocks. Why do these exist, and what can you do about them?
Usually, innovation roadblocks exist because current practices help staff to accomplish certain objectives, and shaking things up will threaten those aims. Perhaps these objectives have not been officially articulated — and they may create benefits more for individuals than for the company — but they are quite real, and all the trappings of innovation (one can imagine a vast sea of ping-pong tables and purple paint) will not obscure the fact that the organization adheres to these anti-innovation priorities.
Rather than leaping for the paint cans, or even planning a series of capability-building initiatives, organizations do best when they start an innovation program by following three simple principles:
Taken together, these approaches create a sustainable innovation program. There is no big bang, but rather a building of momentum. It takes patience and planning. And it works.