Is your organization full of Hackathons, Shark Tanks, Incubators and other innovation programs, but none have changed the trajectory of your company/agency?
Over the last few years Pete Newell and I have helped build innovation programs inside large companies, across the U.S. federal science agencies and in the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community. But it is only recently that we realized why some programs succeed and others are failing.
After doing deep dives in multiple organizations we now understand why individual innovators are frustrated, and why entrepreneurial success requires heroics. We also can explain why innovation activities have generated innovation theater, but few deliverables. And we can explain why innovation in large organizations looks nothing like startups. Most importantly we now have a better idea of how to build innovation programs that will deliver products and services, not just demos.
It starts by understanding the “Innovation Stack” — the hierarchy of innovation efforts that have emerged in large organizations. The stack consists of: Individual Innovation, Innovation Tools and Activities, Team-based Innovation and Operational Innovation.