Aligning human and financial resources, overcoming politics big challenges to innovation says McKinsey study

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As organizations gear up to change,innovate and recover from the worldwide recession 84% of  over 2000 executives surveyed online by McKinsey say that innovation is a key to their growth strategy.

Among top challenges for commercializing innovation and building new businesses are:

  • Aligning human and financial resources (35% respondents)
  • Overcoming internal politics (30%)
  • Lack of formalized process (29)
  • Gaining leadership alignment (27%)
  • Having courage to make final decisions (25%)

Of the findings reported above to me we can really think of four of the italized ones  as "soft" type of organizational changes that seem to derail both innovation and change.

Even in organizations that have a stage gate type of innovation process, leadership does not engage in the early parts of the process. Near the commercialization stage there is lot of financial and emotional involvement of the team leaders and decision making seems hard. If the idea fails – it is the team leaders' idea and if it succeeds the leadership is happy to take credit. So what is the way out for the entrepreneurial,change and innovation oriented manager?

No easy answers here, but strong efforts to build buy in from top leaders in the early part of new projects is certainly a good way to go.

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