The Biggest Obstacles to Innovation in Large Companies

Innovation  Obstacles
Photo courtesy of Jessica Solomatenko, Getty Images

It turns out that the word “innovation” is not a Harry Potter-esque magical incantation that, once spoken, renders companies more inventive, creative, and entrepreneurial. The word can be uttered by a CEO speaking to employees or Wall Street analysts. It can be emblazoned on the door to a new innovation center in Silicon Valley. It can be inserted into people’s job titles. (Yes, even Toys R Us had a head of innovation.)

But there are thorny cultural, strategic, political, and budget issues that must be confronted by CEOs and other leaders if they want to ensure that their organizations can be hospitable to — rather than hostile to — new ideas.

In a survey fielded earlier this year for Innovation Leader, an online resource for corporate innovation teams of which I am editor, we asked about the most common obstacles to innovation in large companies. (To be constructive, we also asked about the things that foster innovation.) The responses, from 270 corporate leaders in strategy, innovation, and research and development roles, were illuminating...

To read the full article by Scott Kirsner, visit Harvard Business Review.

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