Innovation is everyone’s job! To paraphrase Ratatouille food critic Anton Ego, not everyone can be a great innovator, but great innovations can come from anywhere. One classic mistake larger companies fall victim to is creating “innovation teams.” This is a great way to demoralize everyone not on the team.
Another big mistake, often made by technology companies, is that innovation is an engineering problem. When I think about the successes in Silicon Valley, many of the most enduring were business model innovations – think AdWords from Google or SaaS as a way to deliver and sell enterprise software. Yes, there were technologies involved in those successes, but I would argue that the disruption they caused and their durability has as much to do with the business model innovation as with any particular technology innovation.