Innovation Classical Traps - HBR article Nov 2006 by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

In the November 2006 cover story of Harvard Business Review Rosabeth Moss Kanter addresses challenges for innovation management. She introduces classical innovation traps to be avoided. She introduces "Innovation Lessons" related to startegy, processes, structure and skills.

In Strategy Lessons she reminds that small or incremental innovations can lead to big profits. And that innovations occur also in marketing, production, finance and distribution, not only in new product development. Application of “innovation pyramid” – selected portfolio for innovation initiatives, where– ideas and influence can flow up and down the pyramid, can be helpful.

In Process Lessons she states that tight controls strangle innovation. The planning, budgeting and reviews applied to exiting businesses will squeezed the life out of an innovation effort. Also emergent and flexible rewarding practices are required to enhance innovation.

In Structure Lessons she emphasizes importance of interpersonal connections between innovation efforts and current business activities. New combinations for innovations – cross channel, cross unit etc. is needed. Creating innovation friendly culture for all employees (not only ivory tower “innovators”), and stakeholders enhances possibilities for open innovation.

In Skill Lessons great relationship and communication skills are brought up to support technological innovations. Sustainable innovation teams and innovation connectors – people who know how to find partners internally and externally are important and this can be upported by organizational culture that encourages collaboration.

Source: Rosabeth Moss Kanter (2006) Innovation: Classic Traps, HBR, Nov 2006.

Submitted by mitakala on Fri, 2006-11-10 07:14.