Whilst we can never compare a small four-person start-up in San Francisco to a large government department or a multinational all of these organisations desire to be innovative.

For the small hungry start-up company working 80 hours a week, making innovation work is relatively painless as it is the only way they will survive. To the large multinational or the large government department the barriers to innovation are immense. The barriers include:

1. Institutional bureaucracy / lethargy being the default future A large part of the problem is that the default vision of the future, is the status quo.
2. Bogged down by firefighting Far too often talented resources are stuck in the revolving door.  The processes that need to be challenged are the very ones that absorb all the time meaning no change can happen.
3. Untapped ideas In so many organisations talented staff live innovative lives outside their work environment. The key is to make a large organisation as nimble as a small one.
4. Lack of understanding of magnitude of waste Whilst there is a basic understanding of waste few people would be able to categorise the eight wastes that Kaizen attempts to address.
5. Lack of abandonment Until an organisation embraces abandonment there is no hope for innovation.  We need to free time for innovation through embracing abandonment.
6. Aversion to risk / a fear of failure (80-85% of all new fast consumer products fail) Neilson 2018 The paradigm shifters make it clear that it is up to the senior management team to make it clear that failing fast is often a step to success.

How the default future drives us

Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan have written a compelling book “The Three Laws of Performance” that explains why so many of these initiatives have failed.  The first law is “How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them.” The writers examine the concept that the organisation’s “default future” which, we as individuals just know in our bones, will happen – will be made to happen. Thus, in an organisation with a systemic problem, the organisation’s staff will be driven to make initiatives fail, so that the default future prevails.

Daniel Goleman, of emotional intelligence fame, points out that the subconscious is a very primitive part of the brain, one that has not evolved for more than 100,000 years. If you place visions in your subconscious, it will work away at them and guide you in your waking hours towards those outcomes. Tony Robbins’ YouTube video The Magic of Visualization (Law of Attraction) Rhonda Byrne’s book “The Secret” and John Kehoe’s “Mind Power” explain further the power of positive thought.

Zaffron and Logan went on to say, “If you do not change the default future belief the more you change the more you stay the same”.  The key to change is to recreate, in the organisation’s staff minds, a new vision of the future, let’s call it an “invented future”.  More of this later in the selling change section.

  Our default view can also radically limit our personal lives.

If we set off driving with a belief that parking will be a nightmare it surely will.

  Likewise, if we say to ourselves don’t go in the water, our subconscious will deliver the image you have planted.

To find out how to surmount these barriers purchase David Parmenter’s working guide which is on sale at USD 29.90 and comes with 15 electronic templates.

A Look inside the Innovation working guide:

A perfect storm.. 2

Understanding Gemba Kaizen Innovation. 3

  • Housekeeping. 3
  • Waste elimination. 5
  • Visual management 7
  • Adopting winning methods 7

Blue Ocean Innovation. 8

The five-step Blue Ocean Shift Model 9

  • Step 1: Get started. 9
  • Step 2: Understand Where You Are Now.. 18
  • Step 3: Imagine where you could be. 22
  • Step 4: Find how you get there. 24
  • Step 5: Choose and make the blue ocean move. 28

Selling and Leading Change. 31

  • Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan. 31
  • Harry Mills’ Self Persuasion. 32
  • John Kotter’s Leading Change. 32
  • Selling A BOS Project to the Senior Management Team.. 33
  • Learn to Sell by Using the Emotional Drivers of the Buyer 34
  • The Elevator Speech. 34
  • Deliver a Compelling Burning Platform Presentation. 35

Wisdom from the great management thinkers. 37

  • Peter Drucker’s Lessons on Innovation. 38
  • Jim Collins’s Lessons for Innovation. 42
  • Jack Welch’s Lessons for Innovation. 42
  • Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman’s Lessons for Innovation. 43
  • Gary Hamel’s Lessons for Innovation.  . 43
  • Jeremy Hope’s Lessons for Innovation. 44
  • Tom Peters’ Lessons for Innovation. 44

E-Templates include

  • Post-it re-engineering
  • Understanding where you are now
  • Establishing a BOS Project Team Checklist 48
  • Establishing BOS Team Questionnaire. 50
  • BOS Team Applicant Questionnaire
  • BOS Team 360-Degree Questionnaire. 53
  • “Just Do It” Culture and Process Checklist 55
  • Job Description for the BOS Team Leader 56
  • Workshop Preparation Checklist 58
  • Guidelines to Running Workshops. 60
  • Pioneers, migrators, settlers template
  • Six pathways exercise
  • Step 2 scoring factors
  • Buyer utility map
  • Four actions framework

The working guide can be purchased from