Innovation: Who Else Is Doing It?

Everyone applauds innovation. At least, they love it in retrospect, after it has worked. Before that, it’s just somebody’s wild idea that competes with every other wild idea for resources and support. What sounds great in the abstract seems risky when translated to a specific unproven idea. For that reason, executives who tell me that they want more innovation sometimes ask, as their first question, “Who else is doing it?” Or they say, “We want more innovation; we just don’t want to be the first.”