One of the 5 most stubborn ideas on innovation.



“Innovation and innovators are dangerous for the company! “. One of the 5 most stubborn ideas on innovation.

This is one of the misconceptions that I still hear when I host acculturation training for innovation or that I carry out studies of perception of innovation in companies. is not the only misconception about innovation! At a time when innovation becomes a must embedded in all business strategies, as recalled by Marc Giget ( ) the HRD are obliged to review some of their judgments and especially to put … for them and their teams too! Review of the 5 most persistent ideas on innovation.

1) “Innovation and innovators are dangerous for the company”

Everything that is different is considered dangerous. And it is true that companies in this time of crisis rather recruited analytical profiles for the management of the performance by the reduction of the costs. Innovation involves the opposite: investing / spending money, taking risks / losing money, investing in the medium and long term / immediately visible results …

As a result, innovators are also considered dangerous: spendthrift minds, risk everything, carefree of the results to be presented … unlike the marks of commitment expected in cultural references in these times of crisis.

The parade ? to re-read Christensen’s “Innovator Dilemma” which explains the need to manage paradoxes, short and medium / long term innovation at the same time, and to translate “expenditure” of innovation rather as “investment” on the future, not necessarily far away with the acceleration due to the Digital.

2) “Innovation is technical”

How often is innovation reduced to technical invention … and “big innovations”. Certainly digital amplifies perception with its quest for “disruption” and the “Iphone” has become the absolute reference of “great innovation”.

But innovation is also “small innovations” that are called “incremental” because they are improvements in quality or use. And from this point of view, the wave of sustainable development and CSR should favor a new type of innovation, behavioral as well as technical: selective sorting, return to the glass while waiting for the release of bio-sourced and recyclable plastics (PLA), resort to the imitation of nature to create …

Finally, faced with the challenges of service platforms pushed by the Digital, service innovation is developing and the profiles of innovators go beyond the framework of the solitary researcher in his garage or his laboratory!

3) “Innovation is the matter of researchers”

Correlation of the previous one, the innovation would be only a matter of specialists. Admittedly, there are “innovation professionals” in the company, which from an HR point of view corresponds to the purpose of the mission / salary corresponding to the innovation function.

But today we know that it is everywhere in the company: participative, collaborative … innovation is everyone’s business! Ideas can come from the “top” or the “bottom” but they are executed in a process that involves all employees.

Innovation becomes, in addition to a profession for some professionals, a skill to recognize for all! “Innovation is what makes the difference between a leader and a follower” Steve Jobs

4) “Innovation is only for creative people”

Creativity is the place of many doubts … “I’m really not creative … how can I improve? ”

First good news: thanks to specific coaching, the miracle of cerebral plasticity works: you can develop your right brain with regular training!

Second good news: we can participate in an innovation project without being purely creative! Innovation needs all the talents: clarifiers, ideators, developers and directors … every step of his talent! (link

5) “Innovation is mostly done by young people”

Digital forces, the trend is to entrust innovation and transformation programs to “young people”.

But many studies and the most recent carried out by the NBR (link finds that “successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged and not young. The founder’s average age for the fastest growing start-ups is 45.0 years. These results strongly reject the common assumptions that make youth an essential trait of successful entrepreneurs. ”

In conclusion, thanks to these received ideas, HRDs have a real area of ​​HR innovation: reconsider the grid of skills, leadership, collaboration and ages in the light of innovation projects!

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