The Idea in Brief Most companies fuel growth by creating new products and services. Yet too many firms repeat the same growth-sapping mistakes in their efforts to innovate. For example, some companies adopt the wrong strategy: investing only in ideas they think will become blockbusters. Small ideas that could have generated big profits get rejected. For years, Time, Inc.
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Product Description Publication Date: November 01, This article includes a one-page preview that quickly summarizes the key ideas and provides an overview of how the concepts work in practice along with suggestions for further reading.
Never a fad, but always in or out of fashion, innovation gets rediscovered as a growth enabler every half dozen years. Too often, grand declarations about innovation are followed by mediocre execution that produces anemic results, and innovation groups are quietly disbanded in cost-cutting drives.
Each managerial generation embarks on the same enthusiastic quest for the next new thing. And each generation faces the same vexing challenges--most stemming from the tensions between protecting existing revenue streams critical to current success and supporting new concepts that may be crucial to future success.
A typical strategic blunder is when managers set their hurdles too high or limit the scope of their innovation efforts. Quaker Oats, for instance, was so busy in the s making minor tweaks to its product formulas that it missed larger opportunities in distribution. A common process mistake is when managers strangle innovation efforts with the same rigid planning, budgeting, and reviewing approaches they use in their existing businesses--thereby discouraging people from adapting as circumstances warrant.
Companies must be careful how they structure fledgling entities alongside existing ones, Kanter says, to avoid a clash of cultures and agendas--which Arrow Electronics experienced in its attempts to create an online venture. Finally, companies commonly undervalue and underinvest in the human side of innovation--for instance, promoting individuals out of innovation teams long before their efforts can pay off. Kanter offers practical advice for avoiding these traps.
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HBR INNOVATION THE CLASSIC TRAPS PDF
Doumuro Cite View Details Purchase. Harvard Business Publishing, forthcoming. Online helpline — Direct connection to experts for all your innovation questions. Cite View Details Purchase Related. Other people issues cited by Kantor include jealousy of line employees over the special perks and privileges an innovation team may enjoy, holding innovations to the same hard-line budget and performance standards as established parts of the business, failure of managers to communicate and collaborate across divisional or functional silos, compensation policies that favor established business units, and the classic innovation killer — managers who undermine a new idea because they feel threatened by it.
Innovation: The Classic Traps
Dujas For example, some companies adopt the wrong strategy: Innovation and Invention. Revelers around the world say hello togoodbye to an unsettling year. Tighten the human connections between innovators and others throughout your organization. Here are all the departures you trap long forgot about from the past year.