Chapter 6 How success and growth can discourage innovation

Earlier I suggested that innovation isn't something that only the elite are capable of. It's not just for the super-smart or the super-creative. It's something that we can all learn to do. If you accept that, then it follows that if everyone in an organisation isn't trying to come up with better ways of doing things, a resource is being wasted. It's like a factory operating at half capacity.

Organisations should always be trying to improve what they do. If they don't, they run the risk of becoming irrelevant. Often people at the coalface, whether working in a factory or meeting face-to-face with customers and clients, have really good ideas about how to do things better. Some organisations are great at harvesting innovative ideas from all of their people and then implementing the best ones.

Most organisations, however, aren't.

When most organisations start they are, almost by definition, innovative. They are doing something new, or at least the people in the organisation are learning and doing new things. When an organisation is new and small, there are new challenges, new opportunities and new problems all the time. To meet those challenges, take advantage of the opportunities and solve the problems, innovative thinking is required.

Then, if those in the organisation do what they do well and/or they are lucky, the organisation grows. As the organisation becomes more established, more systems and processes are put in ...

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