Innovation theater is the creation of shiny workspaces that don't actually produce results. It may be characterized by innovation labs or teams that go through the motions of innovation without ever producing a sustainable business model.

It can take also place at the executive level, conducted by leaders who are inspired more by a fear of missing out than by clear objectives, or who are motivated by a desire to appear innovative in spite of not understanding how to facilitate or promote innovation within the enterprise. In these cases, the innovation lab may be a Hail Mary pass, thrown together in hopes of saving the company but without the resources or positioning it needs to deliver on that hope.



Viki, Tendayi. Pirates In the Navy How Innovators Lead Transformation. Unbound, 2020.