The Innovation Predators

...who will eat your visions for breakfast

Medium and large companies are struggling to renew themselves. The pace of change is picking up, and many are just not able to keep up. The lifespan of large, successful companies has never been shorter. Internal politics and conservatism are, sometimes, one of the reasons. Paal Holter, EGGS' CXO, has identified three types of, what he calls, "innovation predators", within organisations.

In a complex bouquet of reasons for why innovation fails in some organisations, at least one bad weed is on an individual level. Consider it a subcategory of innovation culture if you will, but nonetheless; I find it worthwhile to target these animals specifically.

In the jungle of innovation and business development, I am able to spot at least three dangerous creatures, with the ability to kill your ambitions and swallow your visions without blinking an eye. Let's have a closer look...

1. The conservative expert (Dinosaur)

This creature has existed in the company forever and was probably a key player in its historical success. Robust, confident and typically with some niche expertise, the dinosaur now enjoys a position of major influence.

Being the expert herself, you are not likely to find her open-minded to new (and especially external) ideas. The "not invented here" phenomenon fits beautifully to this character, and if it were up to the dinosaur alone, we would probably not see a change at all.

2. The little king (Gorilla)

The gorilla is very territorial and is happy to reign his division with pride. Anything that contributes to reinforcing his position as the little king will be welcomed with long and hairy arms. His best friends are Mr Hierarchy and Mrs Silo.

But if you are careless and suggest an idea that is holistic or require cross-departmental dependencies, the gorilla can become ill-tempered. Even if a new horizon looks more visionary and contains simpler and more fruitful solutions, he would rather walk his own path.

3. The invisible decision maker (Crocodile)

Have you ever experienced him? This hidden character that you didn't even know about until he shows up last minute to crunch your almost-ready concepts with his jaws. Snap! ...and your dreams are gone.

You and your team can waste a lot of time and resources if the crocodiles stay invisible for too long. They are typically very skilful and important, but perhaps communication and involvement are not at the top of their agenda.

Dear Predators

Please don't misunderstand. I am not saying that you are evil or useless. On the contrary; your skills and know-how are probably still crucial to the future of your companies. This is mainly a mindset issue.

In fact, I think many of us can suffer from "predatorship" every once in a while. The other day, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I think I caught a glimpse of a dinosaur. Better be careful. It can happen to anyone!

But let's say we invite you to co-creation processes, perhaps facilitated by some fresh blood with new perspectives; Will you try to chip in? Share your insights and ideas with us and be open-minded about what comes out on the other side. Amazing things can happen, and you might find yourself far happier to be part of the modern herd than you thought.

How about the rest of you; Have you spotted any other predators in the innovation jungle lately? I want to know!

Sounds interesting?

Paal Holter

Get in touch with Chief Experience Officer
Paal Holter
+47 901 05 666

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