Paul Sloane in his article on how to sell your innovative ideas to your boss ends up acknowledging that middle management is a bottleneck in most organizations. They do not let the bottom up ideas go beyond them. One primary reason for this is that they are no burdened with delivering their targets that they can not think of anything beyond them. Another could be that Innovation is not a part of their performance measuring parameters so they have no motivation invest any of their or their team’s energy into initiatives which may or may not succeed. They would rather focus on what they know, what is within their control and succeed rather than put their bets on unknown turfs.
This leads me to a question – For a successful innovation program, are organizations enabling the middle layer enough?