• A large organization isn't a startup; nor should it try to act like one. The enterprise operates in a wholly different context. It must able to execute an existing business model while searching for a new one, two activities that rely on entirely different management structures.
  • Large companies typically have more rules to follow
  • Innovation efforts need to avoid getting distracted by side quests like trying to transform the business from the inside out. Innovation labs and teams need focus and need to contribute to the bottom line.
  • The metrics used to manage success in the established enterprise are less useful when managing innovation. Innovation requires experimentation, iteration, and room for failure.
  • The plan and execute model that supports the core business does not support innovators, who need to design, test, and iterate on their ideas.
  • Established businesses may also struggle with the necessity of failure for innovation. But, failure can be productive and even profitable if it is used to learn.
  • The degree to which an innovation can be absorbed by the organization’s existing structures is often a predictor of its ability to succeed with the innovation. This is a big challenge, as very few organizations are easily able to absorb breakthrough innovations into their current way of operating.
  • If and when there is conflict over resources between the core business and the innovation team, the core business will win. Therefore, it’s vital to have clear policies to ensure that innovation teams are able to effectively collaborate with the core business.



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