Successful companies face barriers to major innovation in the form of their people, their processes, and their technology. Here’s how they can overcome those barriers.
CB Insights’ recently released State of Innovation report revealed a dumbfounding insight into the way the business world thinks about innovation. According to the report, 84.9% of strategy leaders agreed that innovation is very important. However, 78% said their company focuses on incremental change, rather than the kind of disruptive ventures that constitute real innovation.
What’s the reason for this gap between understanding and action? The truth is most companies avoid disruption at all costs. Only the most nimble and agile of companies actually have the courage to ‘rock the boat’. Large and established companies face serious barriers that force them to innovate slowly and incrementally — barriers that are centered around the “golden triangle” of People, Processes, and Technology. Here’s what they can do to overcome them.
Encourage Your People to Take Risks
Incentive structures in big organizations often aren’t set up to reward real risk-taking. Success can actually end up being a barrier for many companies: once they find a strategy that works, the leaders of these businesses are reluctant to upset the applecart by trying anything too new or radical. As I explained in a previous article, most employees are incentivized to avoid risks, and to continue with the tried and true strategies of the past. The path to a promotion or a raise isn’t “shake things up,” but “keep your head down and don’t cause trouble.”
Don Sharp is a respected innovator with more than 25 years of tech experience working at companies ranging from startups to Fortune 50 companies. A graduate of Notre Dame University, Don currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Coolfire Solutions, a technology company focused on transforming data into actionable intelligence for major enterprises.