Corporate Culture

Culture of Innovation

29 Obstacles To Innovation


By: Mitchell Lewis Ditkoff

Co-founder and President, Idea Champions, The Author of Awake at the Wheel: Getting Your Great Ideas Rolling


Mitchell Lewis Ditkoff specializes in leading highly engaging creative thinking and teambuilding sessions that enable individuals, teams and entire organizations to develop new products, services, and breakthrough ways of doing business. Educated at Lafayette College and Brown University, Mr. Ditkoff has worked with a wide variety of Fortune 500 and mid-sized companies who have realized the need to do something different in order to succeed in today's rapidly changing marketplace. These clients include: GE, Merck, Allianz, Lucent Technologies, NBC Universal, AT&T, Goodyear, Pfizer, A&E Television Networks, General Mills, MTV Networks, Duke Corporate Education, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Systemic Innovation: 7 Areas


9 Signs of a Losing Organization


While it is overly simplistic to claim that all organizations are dealing with the same obstacles to innovation, the fact is: there are repeating themes and patterns that we have noticed during the past two decades obstacles that will need to be addressed if you expect to establish a sustainable culture of innovation, i.e.

  1. Lack of a shared vision, purpose and/or strategy

  2. Innovation not articulated as a company-wide commitment

  3. Lack of ownership by Senior Leaders

Humorous Tips: How To Prevent Innovation

  1. Constantly shifting priorities

  2. Short-term thinking

  3. Internal process focus rather than external customer focus

Yin-Yang of Value Innovation

  1. Focus on successes of the past rather than the challenges of the future

  2. Unwillingness to change in the absence of a burning platform

  3. Politics efforts to sustain the status quo to support entrenched interests

  4. Rewarding crisis management rather than crisis prevention

  5. Hierarchy over-management and review of new ideas

Inspiring Culture: 5 Pillars


  1. Under-funding of new ideas in the name of sustaining current efforts

  2. Reluctance to kill initiatives that are not succeeding, but have been funded and staffed

  3. Fear that criticizing current practices and commitments is a high-risk activity

  4. Workforce workloads (i.e. too much to do, not enough time)

  5. Risk aversion (i.e. punishment for "failure")


  1. Micromanagement

  2. Inelegant systems and processes

  3. Addiction to left-brained, analytical thinking ("data is God")

  4. Absence of user-friendly idea management processes

  5. Unwillingness to acknowledge and learn from past "failures"

  6. Inadequate understanding of customers

  7. Innovation not part of the performance review process

  8. Lack of skillful brainstorm facilitation

  9. Lack of "spec time" to develop new ideas and opportunities

Innovation-friendly Organization

  1. Inadequate "innovation coaching"

  2. No creative thinking training

  3. No reward and recognition programs

  4. "Innovation" relegated to R&D

Why Organizational Change Fails: 8 Common Errors Leaders Make


Defining Our Terms

Culture: "The sum total of values, norms, assumptions, beliefs and ways of living built up by a group of people and transmitted from one generation to another."

Innovation: "The adoption of a new practice, process, or paradigm by a community not just a new product or service. "Adapting, adjusting, or altering that which already exists for the purpose of adding value."

Creativity: "To cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or would not exist via ordinary processes. Resulting from originality of thought."

Organizational Roadblocks: "Barriers, obstacles or hindrances that limit or compromise the full expression of a company's ability to originate, develop and/or implement new, value-added ideas."


6 Barriers To Creative Thinking and Innovation

How To Kill Creativity: 10 Easy Steps

10 Ways To Murder Creativity

16 Ways To Prevent R&D Commercialization

Innovation-adept Culture

8-Step Process for Creating a Culture of Innovation

Inspiring Culture

Creating a Culture for Innovation

5 Strategies for Creating a Culture of Innovation

5 Strategies for Creating a Culture of Questioning

Transform Your Business Into an Innovative Culture

Establishing a Relentless Growth Attitude

Inspirational Leader

4Es and 6 Rules of Leadership


The Jazz of Innovation

Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice Tips

Entrepreneurial Creativity

7 Lessons from Silicon Valley Firms

Innovation System

Organization and People

Innovation Leadership

Innovation-friendly Organization

Organizational Models that Support Innovation

Flat Organizational Structure

How To Break Down Barriers To Communication

Let the Best Ideas Win

Freedom To Fail

The Fun Factor


Free Micro-course

10 slides

Leading Innovation


Free screen saver

25 slides

Smart Innovation