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Practice 1: Make Innovation Everyone’s Responsibility

6 October, 2015 - 15:24

In too many organizations, innovation is assumed to be the responsibility of the top management team, or the research and development unit. 1Hargadon and Sutton (2000). While these two groups of people are essential, this emphasis will fail to capture the “wisdom of the anthill.” 2 Innovation is essentially a collaborative endeavor, where collective imagination yields new business opportunities. 3

According to Peter Drucker, innovation and entrepreneurship are capable of being presented as a discipline. In other words, it can be learned and practiced. Most important for us in this chapter, Drucker asserts that it can be fostered and encouraged throughout an entire organization. 4One of the keys appears to be to create a collaborative, “information-rich” environment in which all employees are invited to contribute. 5 Commenting on the success of the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford stated, “If you create an atmosphere of freedom, where people aren’t afraid someone will steal their ideas, they will engage with each other, they will help one another, and they will do some amazingly creative things together.”  6