When Fear Becomes Self-Fulfilling

In my consulting practice I help my clients license technologies. I have found that in the medical market, oftentimes the person in charge of evaluating new technologies is not compensated for bringing in new profitable technologies – but they’re punished if they bring in a technology that tanks!

So what does this gatekeeper do? You guessed it – nothing! What’s even worse is that some of the country’s most open innovators are actually not open at all. I have found companies that have key executives speaking at open innovation symposiums actually don’t have systems in play to allow external innovations to enter the door in any real way. They also don’t apply an “intrepreneural” mentality or a portfolio approach as Hewlett-Packard does.

After all, that’s what innovation is – it’s a portfolio. What does that mean? It means we’re going to have technologies that do great, and we’re going to have technologies that fail. In many cases organizations will encourage projects and project managers – as I’ve said before – to fail early-  I’d like to change the vernacular to “bail early.”

If you could change the focus in your organization from the top down, alleviating the focus on risk, and replace it with an opportunity to serve net customer value, you will be an innovation superstar.

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