CHAPTER THIRTEEN

ORGANIZATIONAL PRACTICES FOR INNOVATION

When creating an organization that innovates systematically, it is important to pay particular attention to the organization's practices, including its structures, processes, and policies, which can inadvertently undermine innovation efforts. It is not enough for the senior leaders to commit to innovation, focus on the required skills and the culture, and then wait for innovation to flourish. Most organizations were not designed to make change or innovation easy. On the contrary, their organizational practices often work against innovation efforts by maximizing repetition and predictability and minimizing risk.

In Chapter 10, we introduced the four organizational enablers shown in Figure 13.1. This chapter focuses on how to develop organizational practices that support innovation rather than block it.

In most situations, organizational practices are the result of cumulative decisions taken by many leaders over many years. In the industrial economy, organizations developed practices to maximize the efficiency of work and its output. These practices led to an efficient standardization of work but also contributed to rigid processes to achieve consistency.

Organizations need to develop practices that make innovation easier. In most cases, it simply requires an adjustment to specific processes or rules. The real issue is that every department or function is affected, and just one reluctant department can jeopardize innovation ...

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