Scott Anthony in his HBR Blog The Four Worst Innovation Assassins talks about the four traps that innovation champions in the organizations fall into. I really liked the article.
I think the root of this problem is limited number of popular case studies of Innovation that every champion aims to replicate. The hear about Google, Apple, 3M and P&G and they think they can allow employees some time to innovate, they can change the world and they can tap into open innovation, not realizing that for each organization the innovation needs are different. They are even different at different points of times for the organization.
The myth of all ideas are good and be allowed to come out is the biggest one that needs to be burst. I have had clients tell me they have 700 ideas sitting in their mail boxes and I laugh. Do you even have the bandwidth or qualified resources to look at all those ideas? Do you realize the loss of motivation when an employee submits and idea with all his or her enthusiasm, only to know that no one even looked at the idea. Most champions forget that they are in a business and all the ideas should be focussed on generating more business – top line or bottom line.
A good article to read for all those championing the cause of innovation within the business organizations.