One of the biggest barriers to success of an innovation programme is the lack of a Sponsor who is a true “Director” and a “Hurdler”. (Refer to a great book called "10 Faces of Innovation" from Tom Kelley - CEO of IDEO, the most sucessful innovation consulting company in he world).
If your organisation is going to embark on a journey towards Fostering Innovation, then you need to find a sponsor with the following attributes.
• Burning desire to make innovation happen rather than just talking about it
• Picking few fights (Ideas that needs to executed) that is very close to his/her heart and is aligned to strategic goals of the organisation
• Ability to overcome pressures to “just do the job” & overcome internal bureaucracies
• Wisdom to see beyond initial failures … must be prepared to “fail early to succeed sooner”
• Access to funding and sense of urgency to bring ideas to life.
• Ability to quickly assemble a balanced team for rapid prototyping & implementation by Tapping into Innovation networks.
Until a person within your organisation with the above profile is identified, innovation will be just talk, with not a lot of urgency and action.