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Businesses are constantly looking for the next big thing, a way to keep their organization relevant in the ever-changing world of commerce. While many enterprises understand the theoretical importance of innovation as a means to remain relevant and competitive, few know how to move innovation from the conceptual to the concrete.

352 and Cagle Consulting Partners interviewed innovation leaders across the Atlanta community – a hub for Fortune 500 companies – to examine how corporate innovation truly occurs within organizations. We compiled those insights for the broader innovation community into our, “Innovation Pulse: A Strategic Look at the Function and Organization of Global Enterprise Innovation Groups in 2018” ebook.

Here are some of the key takeaways:

Innovation is not only about generating new ideas.

Despite working across multiple industries and organizations, we discovered common threads among intrapreneurs and corporate innovators. These individuals charged with innovation are not solely responsible for coming up with ideas for new products. Enterprises also hold innovators accountable for key organizational areas such as culture development and attracting STEM talent.

Innovation doesn’t have a natural home in an organization.

Some innovators are housed under the umbrella of IT, while others have a separate innovation department. One thing seems consistent though – the inconsistency in resourcing and funding. Nobody seems to know quite what to do with innovation or where it fits in the overall structure of an organization. Executives are unsure where innovation sits because there’s a natural friction between a startup-like business model, and a day-to-day operational model intended to keep the machine running.

Innovators struggle to balance risk and failure.

One of the biggest dilemmas facing corporate innovators is pushing the enterprise to recognize the opportunity cost of never failing. Risk and innovation are two sides of the same coin. Many innovators want to abide by the mantra, “fail fast and learn faster,” but struggle to work within the constraints of their organization’s risk tolerance.

What else is driving innovation?

Read about other dilemmas facing corporate innovators and find out how intrapreneurs drive change outside the walls of the innovation lab by downloading the ebook today.

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Megan Hord is an Account Manager at 352.