Schaffer Consulting Reveals How Leaders Unintentionally Stifle their Ability to Innovate

We have seen some of the largest and most resource-rich firms struggling to innovate, and our research has highlighted the reasons behind this struggle.

Speaking at Forbes School of Business 2015 Mentor Week, Schaffer’s Markus Spiegel will reveal conditions leaders need to create in order for innovation to thrive at large companies

STAMFORD, Conn. – July 29, 2015 PRLog Large firms have more resources than startups, yet it is the younger and more hungry startups that are known for innovation. Dr. Markus Spiegel, Partner at Schaffer Consulting, will discuss conditions that leaders of large firms need to create for innovation to thrive. Dr. Spiegel's presentation at the 2015 Mentor Week, a free online event at Ashford University's Forbes School of Business reveals four key conditions, which Schaffer's own multiyear research initiatives showed are essential to innovation.

The Mentor Week five-day event from July 27 through July 31, features online presentations from key influencers and innovators highlighting both career-changing habits and problem-solving techniques. Dr. Spiegel's presentation will go online on Friday, July 31 and will be followed by a live Q&A session at 2PM Pacific with Dr. Spiegel and Schaffer Partner Ron Ashkenas. The Schaffer presentation theme "Simplexity" highlights the firm's methodology that eliminates complexity, and unlocks hidden capacity to drive change and innovation in organizations of any size.

"We have seen some of the largest and most resource-rich firms struggling to innovate, and our research has highlighted the reasons behind this struggle," said Dr. Spiegel. "Where smaller startups focus on intuition and creativity within an experimental mindset, bigger companies try to control and manage innovation like the rest of the business – they try to run it like a well-oiled machine setting up highly defined innovation processes that take too long, are too bureaucratic and rigid and most of the time result in disappointing results. We recommend a complex adaptive system perspective which adapts quickly to its environment. We have highlighted four key conditions that are necessary for innovation teams to function as a complex adaptive system."

The four conditions highlighted by Dr. Spiegel contribute significantly to innovation when all four are applied. The conditions start with “constant energy”, and it is the job of the project leader to fuel that energy and empower team members to contribute in a meaningful way. The second condition is "creative friction," an environment of dynamic interaction, underscored by Schaffer's research that showed that greater frequency and higher quality of interaction between team members led to new ideas, problem solving and a situation where team members are more willing to explore and empathize with different perspectives. The third condition of a flexible, "just enough" structure lays a foundation for collaboration, without imposing too much bureaucracy and rigidity – giving the team the ability to self-organize and react to new insights. The final condition is when teams are able to think and act experimentally, engaging with a flexible innovation framework and the right tools in “purposeful discovery”.

Schaffer Consulting's survey will further examine how organizations have progressed in the area of innovation, what they tend to do well and what needs to be improved. Wondering if your organization creates the right conditions for innovation to thrive? Take this 10-question survey to find out before viewing Dr. Spiegel’s presentation.

The five-day Mentor Week is an interactive, online event that includes a video presentation from key innovators and thought leaders, followed by a live chat on Facebook that will give attendees an opportunity to ask questions directly.


Media Contact

David Schutzman

203 550-8551