In one of my last blogs on InnovationManagement I discussed more than 40 reasons why people struggle with innovation. Corporate culture, uncertainty, a lack of support, a lack of market insights, the absence of an appropriate process, missing the tools and lacking the right resources all matter a great deal.
An interesting question is if the size of the organisation matters in the process of starting innovation. In the linkedin group on the FORTH innovation method, consisting of front end innovation managers and experts from all over the world, we had a poll on this with a clear outcome. Half of the innovation experts and managers believe starting innovation is easier for smaller companies. A quarter thinks there’s no difference and a quarter says it’s easier for bigger ones.
Is starting innovation easier for bigger organizations compared to smaller ones?
4% Yes, it is easier for bigger ones
21% Yes, it might be easier for bigger ones
26% There ‘s no difference
29% No, it might be easier for smaller ones
20% No, it is easier for smaller ones
Why would starting innovation be easier for smaller organisations? Five arguments are:
On the contrary there are four arguments mentioned why it would be easier for big ones to start innovation:
A very interesting observation was that it might be easier to start innovation in smaller companies, but not necessarily easier to complete. They often do not have the resources to follow through. If the first five attempts at innovation are not quite right, funding the 6th initiative might be near impossible due to depleted financial resources. And we know that only 1 out of seven ideas is a success.
At the end of our discussion nevertheless most innovators agreed upon the fact that size doesn’t matter enough to be a clear distinction. What really matters for both small and big companies is the right culture, – strategy, – innovation processes and management style that create a fertile environment to jump start innovation.
By the way: Innovation is never easy. You just have to learn to love the struggle!