There seems to be a presumption that the failure of a breakthrough innovation initiative is always spectacular and career ending. This fallacy of presumption creates an unnecessary aversion to risk and limits the pursuit of the radical innovation that organizations need to deliver sustained organic growth.
Another of my favorite fallacies is that innovation spending is correlated with innovation output. This is another example of weak inference and insufficient evidence. Thinking that you need to spend more to get more can lead managers to make the wrong assumptions about what it takes to deliver growth.
When conducting secondary research for The Chief Innovation Officer’s Playbook I came across a book review in the Harvard Business School Archive. The review was of a book published in 2000 titled Radical Innovation: How Mature Companies Can Outsmart Upstarts.
Years of sloppy thinking have left a residue that is potentially harmful to our efforts to deliver organic growth from innovation. A fallacy is an argument that uses poor reasoning. Fallacious arguments are not necessarily untrue, but when unchallenged and unproven they can lead others to make bad decisions.
Anyone who says innovation is dead is not paying attention to the incredible advances in technology that is happening faster and faster, right before our eyes.
The differences in a generation of systems was demonstrated clearly to me this past week at the Air Force’s National Security Forum at the Air War College where I was invited to participate as a fellow. The theme of the event was “winding down after more than a decade of war.” The innovation that the U.S. Air Force has poured into their aircraft, weapons, and networks over the past ten years is mind boggling.