28 March 2007


How would you define innovation?

Certainly an interesting question, and one that I may return to later. However, right now I am more interested in a related question that was asked.

What do you see are the biggest barriers to innovation?

Both questions were asked in the context of a large corporation. My experience has been that two major barriers to innovation exist in a corporate environment. The first is independent of the environment, and that is apathy. I think often of apathy and all that it frustrates, but it too will wait for another occasion. The second barrier is momentum. With corporation comes the history of how things have always been done. People propagate practices only because that is what was done before, not necessarily because that is what is best.

The following quote is a favorite of mine. It expresses what I have felt and believe leads to much of the momentum we see in a working environment.
Men are generally idle, and ready to satisfy themselves, and intimidate the industry of others, by calling that impossible which is only difficult.
Samuel Johnson (1709 - 1784)
Questions go unanswered, problems unsolved, shortcomings accepted, all because people suppress the efforts of others. It is not often explicit, but attitudes exist that thwart effort and innovation.

One small step...

I haven't decided what to use this blog for, but I wanted to get it out there. Perhaps by beginning I will find a reason for posting.