Reasons innovation teams within an Enterprise fail
- A dedicated “innovation” team that works outside the company’s core “processes” (a.k.a. red tape) does not exist
- You share or borrow resources from other teams who help out in addition to their core duties or have a “20% time” policy.
- A budget to spend on non-core R&D and other expenses was never factored in and/or approved.
- People expect the output from this “innovation” team to follow the same rate of return as your core product teams.
- You plan on engaging other (Architects, DevOps, Eng., etc.) core teams after all the work is done to come up with some sort of transition plan.
- No committed initial plan on what you will go after initially.
- No pass/fail metrics were setup.
- You do not have complete buy in from the top.
While all of the reasons above carry weight, if I had to pick one, it would be the first reason – the lack of a dedicated innovation team.
For most enterprises that have a part-time innovation team; all that innovation gets pushed aside when shit hits the fan – then its all-hands-on-deck – innovation, becomes an afterthought.
From a previous post: “It’s important for an enterprise to have a team that focuses on innovation as a “full-time strategic” activity and not as a “part-time ad-hoc” effort in order to have a greater chance of success with innovation – here is why: 75 % of venture-capital-backed start-ups fail; and 50% of backed start-ups make it to their 4th year. These startups, usually consist of dedicated entrepreneurial teams trying to build something, spending 100% of their energy, every minute of every hour trying to make it successful – they are in it full time. If a startup’s “full-time” innovation effort has such a low rate of success, what will be the success rate of a part-time effort?”
A dedicated team must be created if an enterprise wants to make innovation a strategic effort. If you have no one fully focused on innovation, you’ve decided not to focus on innovation.