Individuals and groups within the core business must embrace innovation everywhere, from frontline to C-suite. Innovation is not someone else’s problem. It is not something that can happen “over there” or “done” by someone else. Innovation needs to be an integral component of all parts of the organization.
For instance, many companies attempt to create stand-alone groups. These hubs are designed and staffed to “do innovation.” Business units throw ideas over to a small team to test and execute. As a result, people within the organization begin to look to the hub as “the place where innovation is supposed to happen.”
Several problems can surface with this approach. The company cannot staff the hub to handle the number of ideas required to find enough breakthrough opportunities. The hub team rarely has the domain expertise of the core business that originated the idea in the first place. Therefore, the hub team has a steeper learning curve and uses more time and resources than if the core team vetted the idea themselves.
Transferring Ideas to the Core
Finally, once an idea does show some promise, it is difficult, if not impossible, to transfer the idea back to the core business. The handoff between the groups takes valuable time and resources. In other words, the idea can never regain a good home to keep growing and moving forward.
If you want to foster innovation in your organization, you must prioritize it everywhere.
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