“Innovation” sounds like a sexy word at the beginning and in fact it would be that way when things start off. But soon, the people who are driving and delivering would be under pressure. Why? Two main reasons. At the beginning you would think your are the only one who is having this “unique” idea. Shortly, you will realize there are other bunch of guys coming up with similar idea. So the initial sexiness goes off. Second reason is at execution phase. You need to execute at super speed. My definition of Innovation is “like a marathon but each mile you have to sprint”. If it is a just normal marathon if you run at your pace then it would be fine ( this is what used be referred as “process improvements”). But you need to sprint within the marathon. That is why it is difficult and you need different kind of genetic make up for this kind of journey. Hence only few companies can deliver innovation at this speed.
In my personal experience, like any other thing, team is the most important thing. In the traditional world (where you can go with at reasonable pace), it would be ok if one or two people with in the Innovation team is not having the genetic make up required. You can always make it up. But in the real Innovation game even if one key member is not having right personality then it will drag entire your innovation program. While it is not possible to get the best team always but for sure you will fail if you don’t have right team – esp during pressure points.
You really need a F1 team for Innovation !!.