Corporate innovation – what happened?

In the real world outside academia we have the same problem where employees in companies are discouraged from thinking, trained to work exactly as instructed by employees, BMP (industry best practice) or instructed by their bosses, and yet bosses do the same thing ? Does anyone – even the C-suite or the board of directors think more? Whether they are busy copying the marketing campaigns, business strategies and processes of their competitors – it is obvious, which is quite obvious when reading trade magazines and following industry associations.

In fact, many industry associations (the bureaucratic status quo) have training courses for people in the industry – but that only means when everyone is trained – each company follows the same trail at the same speed with the same horsepower and the same rules as everyone else. Welcome to the human rat race – more like NASCAR than revolutionary innovations or big leaps in technology. How can you or your company win if you just copy what everyone else is doing or trying to do? How can your company come up with a discovery or the next new thing?

We Americans complain when China and others take away our intellectual property, and yet, what do we do to ourselves? Isn’t anyone thinking anymore? Every time I turn around I see the same thing. What happened to American innovation, creative problem solving, and the “capable of standing” one that we will, when there is a will, find a way? Do we see that only a few corporations think more or push the envelope? Why?

Do we have too many restrictive rules and regulations? Are too many companies worried about lawsuits or share capital withdrawals, stock prices and quarterly profits? Are there too many collective action lawyers willing to strike – preventing companies from taking risks? Are companies too concerned about boycotts made possible by political correctness in our evolving society – be careful not to offend anyone – be sure not to rock the ship?

Are all these things mentioned above, plus the slow mind-numbing indoctrination of the media, academia, and the inherent ever-pervasive government indoctrination? Maybe, but what is the main reason. People are no less intelligent. IQ scores have been growing for 100 years. Can social media participate in this problem I noticed? Some say social media has helped innovate – is it real? It seems that faster communication would increase the original thought and make everything a little more innovative – but it is not. It seems to reduce our society more than it helps nurture creative minds and turn us all into innovators.