Ger Perdisatt is an experienced business leader with expertise in digital transformation, cloud (IAAS, PAAS, SAAS), sales leadership, industry partnerships and GTM strategies, people and organizational transformation. Excellent track record of performance across a range of industries and functions. Postgraduate qualifications MBA, ACCA.
Director, Technology Strategy, Western Europe
What are the most frequent innovation blockers?
Possibly the most frequent innovation blocker I see is the cognitive dissonance that comes from how organizations think about risk. Often, companies talk a good game about innovation, but when these aspirations bump up against the realpolitik of running corporate organizations, there is typically only one winner: the status quo.
Most, if not all, complex, matrixed corporate organizations run on repeatable processes and distinct empowerments. Conformity tends to be a feature, not a bug. It’s built in to manage and mitigate risk: the risk of error, the risk of duplication, the risk of sub-optimal returns. Many corporate organizations are great at articulating the size of these known risks. Where they struggle is their ability to assess the opportunity cost, the opportunities foregone by not challenging the status quo and embracing new, innovative practices, products, or services.
When innovation initiatives work, it’s because organizations put as much thought and care into articulating these opportunity costs and bringing to the executive level mature, well-framed options showing the ‘pain of change vs the pain of same’. In my experience, strategic innovation initiatives tend to either flourish or flounder within the first months after launch: the initial interest and euphoria is replaced by the reality that all these great, innovative ideas are being rejected. Apathy abounds. Ideas stop being submitted. The innovation initiative collapses under its own weight. It's also important to be clear upfront with the organization about what kind of innovations you’re looking for, and how much risk you’re willing to take. Will you consider moonshots or are you more of an iterative type of risk-taker? Are there particular strategic are-as of interest or topics to focus on or avoid? What’s a realistic type of ask (investment, headcount, executive support, etc)? What kind of re-turn are you expecting – do you want incremental revenue growth, or to expand new ideas? How flexible should you be in the initial phases around your criteria? [...]
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