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SOFT-FACTORS ENABLING INNOVATION

CHRISTINE G. KAPP

INTRODUCTION

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

—Andre Gide

Process Models, idea generation platforms, and cognitive products are all necessary to improve an organizational innovation management process. However, many soft factors provide the real key to innovation success. It’s hard for any person to discover or notice something new, when they are embedded within current organizational operating processes, when they have worked on the same problem for many years, or when their role has been designed to be 95% reactive. This chapter describes some of the factors inherent in people and organizations that can inhibit innovation.

Companies have to nurture [creativity and motivation]—and have to do it by building a compassionate yet performance-driven corporate culture. In the knowledge economy the traditional soft people side of our business has become the new hard side.

Gay Mitchell Executive VP, HR, Royal Bank

This chapter begins by describing the art of innovation as an analogy that shows the exponential level of complexity when scaling innovation management processes from personal innovation to visionary-led innovation and finally to enterprise/ecosystem innovation. Soft Factors to the innovation process are explained at each level, with the chapter emphasis being on enterprise-level factors with suggestions for overcoming them.

 
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