chapter  5
28 Pages

Internal Barriers to Innovation

Enormous amounts of time and energy go into this. Project-based work involves the construction of teams that are diverse by design, bringing together people with different functional expertise and different leadership styles to maximise the innovative capacity of the team. Organisational hierarchies are flattened to accommodate eclectic creative combinations within teams; office layouts are changed to stimulate new connections between individuals; people are seconded to other departments to hot desk for periods of time. The formal and informal networking groups within the organisation are tapped – the squash players, the gym users, even the smokers. The company newsletter posts information about people’s activities within and outside the organisation: what projects they are working on, their connections with the wider community, extra-curricular sporting achievements, fundraising for charity and so on. People are encouraged to drop ideas into suggestions boxes

while handpicked groups are whisked away for a week’s brainstorming at an out-of-town location. At some firms, people are encouraged to eat collectively in the company’s subsidised cafés and mix with others. Lunches out or at their desks are frowned upon.1