Entitlement – The bane of Failing at Innovation

At Kodak, Changing to a Future beyond Film

The inspiration for this edition of blog is the above inserted film I viewed and I knew I had to write about it. I have had the great opportunity to actually serve Kodak as a consultant when I used to work with Coopers & Lybrand. Similarly, I have and continue to serve other major Fortune rated organizations across the North America. My experience includes work globally and therefore the fortune to observe Culture and Human Behavioral differences and learn subtly not only the art of thriving in these cultures but also their strengths and weaknesses.

There is so much talk about Innovation in world today and yet very little significant contribution to the growth of society. Those that persisted with a Culture of Innovation are the only ones attempting the next higher threshold of capability and their concern is not always about Marketing but Creating and Cultivating Core Competence in their people towards a Unified Cause and Vision. And despite the Internet of Everything, it is still People that have to do it and will continue to do it; build a better world.

Be it Government or Private Enterprise, the method of engaging talent from the age of monopoly has not changed. To produce an assembly of the same black car, line after production line, you didn’t need people to be Creative. You wanted them to Conform. Look around at supposedly the “Most Innovative” companies in the world and you will notice very little has changed. And that includes the likes of Google and Apple.

It is about time Talent and Merit were recognized and given their due in the useless hierarchical structures of an enterprise. Employment and Entitlement became synonymous for a class that needs a base to find its bearings before it can rear its wings. Let that remain and they can Conform if there is no Choice. But making the majority of the organization Conform because of the Carrot of entitlements is the only reason why Innovation fails at both Government and Private Enterprise.

Make an educator accountable for producing Path Breaking Research in Universities. Make the Research & Development department of a consumer product company believe in shaping the minds of markets and creating demand for new products and services. Make Doctors accountable for Preventive and not Procedural Medicine. Make Musicians produce music that defines and not defies Sound Energy. Innovation is a Path to Progress; not a Pavement to be Pedestrian. Let Merit take center stage in society and let there be a new world that sees Opportunities and not Problems. This video of Kodak should reinforce that thought.

About Subbu Iyer

Subbu Iyer is an Innovation & Transformation Leader as with 28 years of serving customers globally. He is currently the Chief Designer & Transformer at Energizing Innovation, an enterprise that is being founded to facilitate continuous growth in enterprises and as a consequence create societal wealth. The Radical Shift that this enterprise intends to employ is focusing on the Potential rather than the Performance of a business. He has been a serial entrepreneur and an intrapreneur in his past life, having founded Nihilent Technologies and Nandaki Systems besides being associated in senior leadership roles with firms such as Coopers & Lybrand, Cambridge Technology Partners, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro Technologies and Steria.
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One Response to Entitlement – The bane of Failing at Innovation

  1. Delicious, thought provoking tit bits as always. Though this one feels like an appetizer – short, tangy, flavourful. I’m waiting for the main course 🙂

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