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Why Companies Don't Innovate

Lean Innovation: 5 excuses of companies that don't innovate (and how to overcome them)

          “We’re too big.”
          “We’re not a startup.”
          “We’re not ready.”
          “We have the wrong culture.”
          “We acquire innovation.”

Although every organisation faces unique challenges, we see the same excuses repeatedly why established enterprises can’t do “real” innovation.

Here are the top 5 to be aware of and some ideas on how to overcome them.

1. “It’s not my job.”


Go ask some of your co-workers who they think is responsible for innovation.

1. “It’s not my job.”

What kind of answers are you likely to get? Obviously, it’s the product team’s. R&D. The C-suite is ultimately responsible. It’s our internal startups: that’s why we have an incubator. Duh.

The one thing they can all agree on is that it’s not theirs. Innovation is somebody else’s job.

Sales says they just sell whatever the product team delivers. The product team says they struggle to keep up with a long list of features required by product management. Product management says feature requirements come from sales. The finger pointing goes on and on. And that’s just for incrementally improving existing products!

Part of the problem is understanding what is meant by the word innovation itself. There’s a pervasive myth that suggests that all big companies need to get better at disruptive or breakthrough innovation. They don’t. And they can’t anyway. No one can. Would anyone say that startups, in general, are good at breakthrough innovation?

Most big companies struggle to compete in existing markets. What they need in order to be more competitive may or may not require technical innovation. To start, they need to be closer to their customers, be more agile, act bolder. This means everyone.

It means breaking down traditional silos. It means acting more entrepreneurially...

...continue reading on Moves the Needle

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