In recent years, we’ve started to see terms such as “innovation antibodies” and “innovation theater” being used to describe some of the challenges in managing innovation, particularly in larger organizations trying to find their own innovation culture. Today, many innovation leaders must carefully navigate the waters between too much resistance to innovation from corporate antibodies and, conversely, too much enthusiasm for innovation from those wishing to put on theater.
So-called “innovation antibodies” are well-known for their ability to stifle ideas or even kill off ideas completely. The antibodies are typically corporate departments and personnel that see new ideas coming from another part of the business as risk elements that need to be carefully managed and mitigated. Harvard Business Review published a useful article a few years ago about how to get the corporate antibodies on your side by making these departments and staff part of the solution.