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Personal Creativity Reflection

Internal Firm Culture


Today we continued to talk about the culture of companies and the culture of innovation. However, we
also started to talk about the inherent risks that companies take when they follow the Innovators DNA
model.

The biggest risk is not taking any risk. Mark Zuckerberg


There are a variety of reasons that people dont take risks: some companies are comfortable where they
are, and dont want to test the limits. Others weigh the pros and cons of risk taking and they decide
that its not compelling. Finally, some people decide that the investment in the risk is not work the
large amount of time and money they would put into the new idea. Once a company reaches the top of
their field, they can fall victim to the incumbents curse they get too comfortable at the top and dont
want to risk losing what they have worked so hard to earn, but there are smaller companies that are
just waiting to take their place that outwork them and take bigger chances, and end up winning over. A
great example of this is Kodak. They were at the top of the photography industry, and they were way
too comfortable. When the digital camera era just started to rise, Kodak had the option to get into the
business, but they were unwilling to take the risks. The executives did not think that digital
photography would rise as quickly as it did, and they thought they would retire before having to deal
with it. Instead, Kodak felt crippling losses and was almost obliterated by the digital camera era. There
are ways to overcome the incumbents curse however:
1. Incentives for Enterprise
2. Fostering Internal Markets create internal competition and cooperation
3. Appointing Innovation champions Most people tend to think, if you have a good idea, do
it yourself. Design the infrastructure of the company so that good ideas stay within the
company and the company profits.

All of these ideas have to do with the culture of the company. Their rights and rituals, their stories,
heroes and symbols are fundamental to what makes that company unique, and why their employees
want to work at that company. This advice is valuable to me, because I need to remind myself to never
stay complacent. I need to continue to push forward in my classes and to not take a break and waste

Course Activities 14

Personal Creativity Reflection



time, because there will always be people out there who are working harder and who want it more,
and that is the lesson of the incumbents curse.

Course Activities 15