Is the Innovation Team just another cost centre?


A recent research piece by 'Innovation Leader' with 112 Innovation related respondents found that Covid-19 had - amongst others - these effects on R&D and Innovation teams:

"Nearly 69% of innovation team priorities are changing at least a moderate amount", "More than 40% of respondents say they're experiencing a hiring freeze, budget reduction or freeze, or that they are dialling up their focus on core business support.
"Other challenges include a return to "command and control," a lack of attention from key supporters, and the limits of virtual collaboration."

Still, as one respondent from the financial services sector put it: "Uncertainty creates opportunity for innovation." I am with that sentiment - are you?

In quite a lot of businesses I work with, Innovation is the responsibility of the R&D Department or the Innovation Leader - besides a lot of more operational and day-to-day responsibilities. As one R&D Director put it to me recently, often "the client of today gets in the way of the client of tomorrow."

I believe 'Innovation' firstly needs a clear definition that is valid throughout the business and is endorsed, supported and accounted for by the leadership and secondly needs to involve ALL employees of the organisation. Everyone of us has been creative as a child, so how can we not be creative anymore? Have we unlearnt it? Unlikely! Use all those powerful and bright brains in your organisation for a better innovation journey.