The last day and a half of the conference has been filled with both inspiration and recommendations for addressing the challenge of innovating in a large organization.
One popular recommendation is embracing start-ups, as start-ups are often seen as a way for companies to get innovative products and technologies into the hands of their customers. While this can often hold true, this solution does not have a positive long-term benefit on the company’s internal innovation culture. Furthermore, there are growing concerns that start-ups could be dying. The State of Competition and Dynamism: Facts and Concentration, Start-Ups, and Related Policies (June 11, 2018) report from The Hamilton Project revealed that start-up rates have been significantly declining across all business sectors since 1979.
At the end of the day, it is more difficult to innovate inside of a large organization than outside of it. However, companies that put in the blood, sweat, and tears to do this and do it well will reap the rewards. The attitudes and behaviors of senior executives will be the key drivers of lasting change and innovation in these large organizations. They need to make sure that the company innovators are well aligned with the business units and conversely that the business unit managers are committed to the innovators. These innovators will need the help of leaders to reduce friction within the organization and overcome internal silos.