Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Enterprise Architecture: Why your leadership eschews real innovation

If you take a can of yellow paint and throw it at your CIO, followed by a liberal dosing of feathers doesn't result in innovation but does result in CIO feature differentiation...

Let's agree that genuine innovation is risky. I have observed that businesses often don't like "powerful" ideas because they are too risky from a business perspective. If done wrong, they can be very problematic. They also make recruiting more difficult because the ability to use and debug the powerful technique may be beyond what a manager or colleagues can test and interview for. They are sort of like the financial derivatives of software design: you can make a lot of money off them, but when things go wrong with them they really go wrong.

Businesses usually don't like that kind of risk, especially larger ones. Smaller businesses sometimes take such risks because they are willing to take a gamble to get a jump on the competition. But, larger institutions don't have the digestive system for such because managers are more often chewed out for what goes wrong stronger than they are rewarded for what goes well.

I have observed that businesses which avoid "powerful" ideas often lose competitive advantage to those which effectively leverage such ideas to improve productivity, sales, or product quality. Indeed, when things go wrong, they really go wrong, but when they go right, they really go right.

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