Just as we manufacture antibodies in our blood to combat infection, so do enterprises construct antibodies in their cultures to combat risk, change, and therefore innovation.

This antibody construction normally happens by default, after all, why change things that have given us what we have? (This resistance to change when all is well is why the best time to change anything is when the poo poo has really hit the fan).

The management task is to administer the innovation drug to enterprises in order to change the culture that exists to enable innovation to occur.

Here is a list of innovation antibodies I have seen at their deadly work, in no particular order:



Disciplined processes replacing thought

Old habits


Not listening

Concentration on narrow data sets

Happy to be a follower


Believing managers are innovators

Weeding out the deviates, outliers and  heretics

Ambition trumping capability

Rampant self interest

Believing the old adage that information is power, and holding it all close

Ignoring what is happening on the fringes of a market and technology

Not understanding who the customer is

Not listening to demanding customers

Not understanding why you are losing customers

Believing doing something well is good enough, instead of it being the price of entry

Failing to make intuitive connections

Believing the financial statements tell you all you need to know

Autocracy and fear as a management tool

Non investment in the intangible assets of a business


The list just seems to go on and on…………….