Stiff-haired corporate ladder climbers play dress-up in hoodies, trading their golf outings and steak dinners for drone flying and hipster tacos. They return to the home office in Parsippany or Peoria brimming with ideas about growth hacking. Maybe they rip out their cubicles and install an open floor plan. Perhaps they create “intrapreneurship” competitions. They might even hire a staff futurist or an overpriced “millennial consultant.” - Erin Griffith, Fortune
A key issue facing organizations looking to excel in innovation is a lack of organizational ambidexterity. Organizational ambidexterity refers to the ability of organizations to innovate current products incrementally while simultaneously generating breakthrough innovations for future release.
Generally, organizations find these duel roles difficult as they involve two disparate goals that share the same resource pool. Incremental innovation is less risky, as it involves slow improvements to revenue-generating products, while breakthrough innovation involves long-term investment into products that have a risk of failure and may cannibalize existing profitable product lines. While many organizations' are founded on the back of breakthrough innovation companies often become more risk-averse as product lines mature.
Many organizations opt for having the same team handle both incremental and breakthrough innovation, thisarrangement typically fails to achieve breakthrough results as team members face pressure to return immediate success, and begin to shift focus toward more immediately viable incremental improvement. Organizations can successfully avoid this issue by having two separate teams that focus one either incremental or breakthrough projects.