You can’t live without innovation. It’s why you’re in business. But as you grow, innovation also becomes a threat. It threatens to disrupt your existing business model, products, and services. It threatens to upset your customers, who have become accustomed to a certain way of doing things. It threatens your partners and employees, who have developed expertise in the way things currently work. That’s the real reason innovation is so hard. While we espouse its values, we also build defenses against it.
I call these the innovation killers. The innovation killers are almost always neatly disguised as protectors of the organization. Few people use these behaviors to try to kill innovation outright. Their intentions are always good ones: to minimize risk, to deliver predictability and operational excellence, and to satisfy market, customer, and analysts’ expectations. The innovation killers are staffed with armies of well-intentioned corporate citizens, ready to defend their turf and keep innovation at bay, lest it disrupt the certainty of the status quo.
“The innovation killers are almost always neatly disguised as protectors of the organization.”
Guess what? If you’re looking for certainty, you’ve picked the wrong century. Get used to it, and get familiar with this list of seven innovation killers. These are the weeds that threaten to choke your garden; when you see them, pull them out by their roots.
Google and Udacity have launched a free, learn to program scholarship, exlusively for Europeans.
The great thing about the web is that it enables anyone – from anywhere, of any age, and any skillset – to start a new business, grow an existing one, become an entrepreneur, a developer or a content creator or hone a new skill. From Berlin to Birmingham we’ve met people across Europe who are doing just that – developing the digital know-how needed to achieve their dreams.
Like Evrard in France, who works for GreenRiver, a small company providing private cruises along the river Seine and the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris. He joined our training programme Google pour Les Pros, where he was trained by a Google AdWords advisor over three months. He learned how to launch digital marketing campaigns and discovered other tools that helped increase their online visibility. He told us, “After Google pour Les Pros training our business grew by 30% and sales grew by 60% in one year”. Green River is now using Evrard’s learning as a stepping stone to further success.
Evrard is just one of the nearly 2 million people we’ve trained over the last 2 years as part of our Growth Engine programme to help close the digital skills gap among Europeans. And yet there’s still more work to be done. On current projections, the growing gap between skills required and the training that workers receive, has lead the EU to predict that almost a million ICT jobs would remain unfilled by 2020.
That’s why today Google, Bertelsmann (the global media, services and education company) and e-learning provider Udacity are coming together with a goal of closing the mobile digital skills gap in Europe and preparing the new European workforce with the mobile development skills needed to help them get a job or start their own business.