*Innovation Must Overcome the Corporate Immune System is a recent article on the need for developing the entrepreneurial spirit in all businesses.
Though Peter Drucker did not coin the term, his philosophy defines the entrepreneurial spirit as:
the allocation of the best resources to the greatest opportunities and not to fixing problems born of the past
This recent article by John Mariotti of Business Trends doesn’t encourage businesses to innovate, he challenges them “to compete in a globalized market, [where] innovation is essential. The other alternatives are to emigrate – to somewhere where innovation is welcomed, or to simply cease to exist – evaporate.”
He compares this process to an immune system, that seeks to preserve the status quo.
If the corporate immune system kicks in and spends resources on preserving the past or even on perfecting the present, few (or none) will remain for finding the future. And thus few (or no) new life cycles will be conceived. When this happens, the company itself is characterized by the life cycle curve as well. It will have launched itself from growth to maturity, and staying there too long, into decline, caused by too few new innovations to generate growth.
He uses a great formula to depict this doom: PP*2≠FF.
It simply means: Preserving the Past (PP) and Perfecting the Present (PP) does not equal Finding the Future (FF). He says: “The immune system’s struggle to sustain the status quo will have successfully killed off innovation (and with it, all those in the organization who were its advocates). The death of the company is usually not far behind.”
So what can we, outside the business decision-making realm, do? Develop and facilitate the entrepreneurial spirit!