Innovation Exhaustion

Posted on October 14, 2013 by Jeffrey Phillips

After almost ten years of innovation consulting, I’ve come to learn some things about innovation, of course, but more importantly corporate cultures, hierarchies and power structures. After years of wondering why sustained innovation is so difficult, I’ve come to the conclusion that for many firms, innovation is viewed as an occasional variation from the status quo.

That doesn’t mean that innovation isn’t important. In that moment, during that project, innovation is very important. But while it is important, it is also obtrusive, works outside the regular working conditions, demands resources that are normally deployed in other work and introduces new tools and methods. Like a rubber band that snaps back to its original size and configuration, many organizations “snap back” to a historical norm once an innovation project is complete. And, often, what I’ll call innovation exhaustion sets in.

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