Innovation is under threat from organisations that focus on the past and the present instead of the future, says John Mariotti. Echoing some of the work of Cameron Ford on the lack of “futurity” in managerial decision making, Mariotti uses the metaphor of the corporate immune system. This, he says, seeks to protect the organisation from ‘invaders’, or threats to the status quo. The idea that change is uncomfortable is a familiar one, and the sense of security in staying the same clearly fights against the need for change and innovation.
Mariotti quotes Peter Drucker, identifying the primary responsibility of managers as “the allocation of the best resources to the greatest opportunities- and not to fixing problems born of the past” and warns that if resources are focused on preserving or protecting the past, or even perfecting the present, then this leaves little room for finding the future.
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