‘Innovation’ has a cachet in the business world. One that the word ‘institution’ does not. In fact, to ‘institutionalise’ someone is a pretty unpleasant outcome. But I was drawn to the alliterative foil coined by mentor and friend Mike Pegg in his piece ‘3 tips for recognising that innovation often takes place away from an institution’
While his piece is indeed focused on the ‘Innovation’ side, he still acknowledges the positive role of institutions or ‘the Existing House’ as he describes it.
As mentioned previously, I am currently touring the Maldives for my other major web project, Maldives Complete. One of the highlights of the site is the blog where I most focus on a subject called the ‘Best of the Maldives’. There are so many spectacular islands in the Maldives to choose from (over 100) that they each differentiate themselves with different creative touches and features. But an ‘innovative’ underwater bidet is of no use if the resort doesn’t attend to the fundamentals of running the ‘institution’ of a resort – good cup of coffee in the morning, comfortable beds, hot water in the shower, fresh looking decor, diligent maintenance.
Business is not all about innovations. One doesn’t innovate for innovation sake. The innovation needs to be institutionalised into a reproducible, marketable product that can provide regular, profitable returns. That’s where sound management comes in. Leadership without Management is just a free-for-all arts-and-crafts playpen.
Leaders create innovations, Managers build institutions.