Consider two successful family-run companies in the same industry.

One company operates along an old-school mentality.  The way things are presently are the way things were and are the way things will be.  There may be some relatively minor tweaks and adjustments along the way, but essentially nothing much has changed.  The other company is much more willing to embark on newer technologies, newer methods and might even be considered progressive.  For them, change is not a dirty word but rather a means to a more robust and successful end.

The difference between these companies is also what separates the corporations moving forward with those that are moving backwards.  It might not be currently apparent, but unless one of these companies becomes more willing to not only adapt but also allow for significant change, its long term viability is in question.  To their credit, a few executives (of the company resisting change) have started to give more attention to change management and related initiatives.  However, even these initiatives are given relative low priority and are sacrificed on the alter of ‘timing’.  It remains to be seen if these initiatives will ever be successfully implemented and carried over to the entire organization.

What this company and others sometimes fail to realize is that ideas are the real corporate currency with dollars and/or euros the net result.  I would adamantly argue based on everything we know about companies and what them succeed or fail (Jim Collins’ works (Good to Great & Built to Last) are phenomenal supporting resources), that the levels of ideation and change tolerance are directly reflected on the bottom line.

Looked at in another light, we can formulaically express these concepts:



Corporation Life = Constant Motion =   Ideas + Change = Innovation

=   Moving Forward

=   Reduced Costs

=   Infinite Growth

=   Increased Profitability


With a system in place for generating ideas, selecting ideas (without idea bias) and change management, we can and will create sustainable and profitable innovations.  If your organization is still searching for those elusive innovations, undoubtedly much more attention needs to be spent further upstream (i.e. ideation and/or change).