The modern malaise of innovation: overwhelm, complexity, and herding cats

Blog by Lucy Mason: “But the modern world is too complicated to innovate alone. Coming up with the idea is the easy bit: developing and implementing it inevitably involves navigating complex and choppy waters: multiple people, funding routes, personal agendas, legal complexity, and strategic fuzziness. All too often, great ideas fail to become reality not because the idea wouldn’t work, but because everything in the ecosystem seems (accidentally) designed to prevent it from working.

Given that innovation is a key Government priority, and so many organisations and people are dedicated to make it happen (such as Innovate UK), this lack of success seems odd. The problem does not lie with the R&D base: despite relative underinvestment by the UK Government the UK punches well above its weight in world-leading R&D. Being an entrepreneur is of course, hard work, high risk and prone to failure even for the most dedicated individuals. But are there particular features which inhibit how innovation is developed, scaled, implemented, and adopted in the UK? I would argue there are three key factors at play: overwhelm (too much), complexity (too vague), and ‘herding cats’ (too hard)…(More)”.