Why Big Companies Struggle with Innovation Returns

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Despite the billions of dollars spent on research and development (R&D) by many large corporations, the returns on these investments in innovation often fall short of expectations. This raises an important question: why do so many big companies struggle to achieve good returns on their innovation investments?

Challenges in Embracing Innovation

Research suggests that one of the key reasons behind this challenge lies in the mindset of managers within these organizations. Novel ideas and disruptive technologies are often viewed as “deviant” or threatening to the status quo, leading to resistance and a reluctance to embrace them. As a result, these innovative ideas are often watered down or completely squashed before they have a chance to flourish.

Inspiring, Supporting, and Protecting Innovation

To overcome this hurdle, the solution lies in inspiring, supporting, and protecting innovation within large companies. This can be achieved by tapping into both external and internal networks. External innovation catalysts, such as consultants or industry experts, can bring diverse perspectives and creative solutions to the table. They can help challenge the existing mindset and facilitate the introduction of new ideas.

Additionally, internal sparring partners can play a crucial role in fusing these ideas with the company’s mission and turning them into compelling business propositions. These individuals, who possess a deep understanding of the organization’s goals and values, can provide valuable insights and help navigate the complexities of implementation.

However, it is not enough to simply introduce innovative ideas into the organization. The timing and sequencing of these introductions within the company’s social circles also play a crucial role in gaining buy-in and support. By selectively sequencing the introduction of ideas and stress-testing them within trusted circles, companies can ensure that they are well-received and have a higher chance of success.

Practical Solutions for Big Companies

The relevance and influence of these insights lie in their practicality and applicability to the challenges faced by big companies today. By addressing the dissatisfaction of corporate CEOs with R&D investments and offering research-backed solutions, these findings shed light on the underlying reasons for poor innovation returns.

The key takeaway from these studies is the importance of embracing innovation and leveraging networks to drive successful outcomes. By breaking down the resistance to novel ideas and fostering a culture of innovation, companies can unlock their full potential and reap the benefits of their investments in R&D.

In conclusion, the challenges faced by big companies in achieving good returns on their innovation investments are multifaceted. However, by inspiring, supporting, and protecting innovation through the utilization of external and internal networks, these companies can overcome these hurdles and drive meaningful change. The practical advice provided in these studies serves as a guide for fostering innovation within large organizations and offers a path toward sustained success in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. It is time for companies to embrace innovation and realize the full potential of their investments. Together, we can create a future where innovation thrives and transforms the world of business.

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