Holy Kaw!

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Why pursuing innovation fails

Adam Hartung provided a great analysis of why the pursuit of innovation usually fails inside established companies. If you work for a company that has made innovation a priority, I’m sure you can relate to thoughts like these:

For all their brainstorming exercises and “open innovation” programs, they mostly just come up with reformulations of existing products, new pricing plans and basic updates—the same old things just a little cheaper, faster or better.

Businesses ask their “strategic customers” where to innovate and get little advice. Those customers are usually strategic only in that they are large, not because they have any particular market insight. They too just want more, better and cheaper, which are hardly recommendations for true innovation.

Innovation budgets are determined only after budgets are already in place for defending the “core business.” The core business isn’t usually doing so well, but it gets first call on resources because management feels it needs to defend what already exists.

Holy kaw, does he call a spade a spade or what? Definitely worth reading and (anonymously) forwarding inside your company! I can hardly wait for Adam’s next installment when he will explain what to do about this.

More help for Innovators.

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  • Dee Gardner

    Innovation comes from lots of failure. Look at Edison. He has to be one of the great innovators. Look on YouTube for the video made by Honda about innovation. If companies are not prepared to fail They are not capable of innovation.