I’m teaching a course on Global Innovation Strategy, so I’ve been following lots of “innovation” news, just to keep the course grounded in current events and bring reality into the stuffy theory. One thing that I’ve noticed, and I noticed this during my corporate tenure, is that everyone seems to want their own “innovation center” or “innovation cell”. These are all dumb, wasteful ideas. One doesn’t and organizations don’t need innovation centers or cells to be innovative. We can all do it right from our desks, our homes, our schools, our public libraries, or anywhere we can get together with others.
What has always been most disturbing is the amount of money spent to build these centers when that money could be so much better spent making the small and micro loans needed to help test a hypothesis or support a small group in moving their idea, inching it really, along.
Can we stop with all the innovation centers and start with more innovation investments?