Most of my work takes place within the context of an “Innovation Lab” or similar program that is often part of a wider transformation effort. Within that rubric, I have observed many common maladies that thwart innovation and transformation. This article is part of a series documenting the maladies. Solutions to follow.
There isn’t an organizational leader who will claim that they don’t need some kind of process improvement. Ditto, there isn’t a leader who won’t agree that modern methods of digital transformation, like Agile, Lean, Data-driven or Cloud ought to be adopted. This would be to go against the grain of progress, or be like denying the value of innovation — i.e. foolhardy. And so, in the interests of progress, various transformation programs are rolled out in corporations. However, many of them deliver lackluster results, or fail.
5 Major Problems
Here I rely upon direct experience to diagnose, at least partially, the malady. I have identified five major problems, although there are more. These are:
- The Dunning-Kruger effect
- Backdoor Hedging
- Authority Bias
- Mindset vs. Method
- KPI Syndrome
Each of these is worthy of its own article, but I will summarize all five whilst taking Agile as the transformational method in question. Before diving in, I should say that no one problem is sufficient to kill the project, nor does any one problem have a dominant effect. As with all organizational maladies, they typically conspire to produce a death by a thousand cuts. This is well discussed in Clayton Christensen’s Innovator’s Dilemma. In this article, I only explain the problem. I will leave the solutions to a follow-up article.
Read the full article on Recknsense.