Afraid to Innovate

The fear associated with creative development can often be devastating to an enterprise.  As a case in point “G.M.’s biggest failing, reflected in a clear pattern over recent decades, has been its inability to strike a balance between those inside the company who pushed for innovation ahead of the curve, and the finance executives who worried more about returns on investment” (New York Times, December 5, 2008). Clearly the fear of loss of near term profit was the primary obstacle to developing a creative idea into an innovative product.  As further evidence of GM’s addiction to short-term gain, once GM got into the SUV market—which by the way lagged the competition by five years—it was “reluctant to shift from big profitable vehicles to building small, less profitable cars, even when gas prices spiked” (New York Times, December 5, 2008).  GM had the ability—their engineers were involved in hybrid technology in the 1970’s—but it lacked the will to invest in the development of innovative products. Continue reading