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Four Ways of Thinking That Stifle Company Innovation

  • Four Ways of Thinking That Stifle Company Innovation-
    Most companies have difficulty accepting the most fundamental natural law of innovation: The only certainty is uncertainty. With innovation, the dominating forces are ambiguity and change; and the processes at work involve exploration, invention, and experimentation. The pursuit of growth and innovation is inherently messy and inefficient.

    Operational excellence strives for 99 percent defect-free performance. Contrast this to growth experimentation that can result in failure rates of 90 percent. In operational excellence environments, managers are rewarded for stamping out variance. Yet, in growth environments, variance is the norm. In fact, innovation is a high-variance activity.

    The mindset, culture, and processes that drive successful execution in an existing business can, if unexamined, drive innovation into the ground, exhausting and discouraging the very people who are trying hardest to accomplish it and killing inventive ideas before they see the light of day. All because many big companies have devoted themselves wholeheartedly to the mantra that “variation is the mother of waste.” Bottom line: To be innovative, you must be willing to accept failure.

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Four Ways of Thinking That Stifle Company Innovation

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  • Four Ways of Thinking That Stifle Company Innovation-3
    Most companies have difficulty accepting the most fundamental natural law of innovation: The only certainty is uncertainty. With innovation, the dominating forces are ambiguity and change; and the processes at work involve exploration, invention, and experimentation. The pursuit of growth and innovation is inherently messy and inefficient.

    Operational excellence strives for 99 percent defect-free performance. Contrast this to growth experimentation that can result in failure rates of 90 percent. In operational excellence environments, managers are rewarded for stamping out variance. Yet, in growth environments, variance is the norm. In fact, innovation is a high-variance activity.

    The mindset, culture, and processes that drive successful execution in an existing business can, if unexamined, drive innovation into the ground, exhausting and discouraging the very people who are trying hardest to accomplish it and killing inventive ideas before they see the light of day. All because many big companies have devoted themselves wholeheartedly to the mantra that “variation is the mother of waste.” Bottom line: To be innovative, you must be willing to accept failure.

Too many companies are anti-innovation without even realizing it. That’s the conclusion drawn by Ed Hess, a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business and co-author, along with Jeanne Liedtka, of The Physics of Business Growth: Mindsets, System, and Processes.” In order to stifle what's stifling innovation, Hess advises that companies dump these four entrenched ways of thinking.

Too many companies are anti-innovation without even realizing it. That’s the conclusion drawn by Ed Hess, a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business and co-author, along with Jeanne Liedtka, of The Physics of Business Growth: Mindsets, System, and Processes.” In order to stifle what's stifling innovation, Hess advises that companies dump these four entrenched ways of thinking.