Why your company will NEVER innovate

by Roberto Carlos – Factor WOW

Innovation is still being talked about. We see it in newspapers, in chats, in conferences, be they virtual or face-to-face. They continue to talk about the importance of being an innovative and visionary company, they talk about being like Tesla, Apple, Google, Samsung and all the same as always. There is still a lot of talking and little acting. Like the story of Pedrito and the wolf, they tell us: “here comes artificial intelligence”, “here comes machine learning”, “be careful with the Internet of things”. And nothing happens. Life goes on. Until suddenly, our sales start to drop dramatically and we don’t understand what’s going on. And we become history overnight.

I am going to explain to you in 10 points what happens in the average company, the one that is NEVER going to innovate, and is going to die without anyone noticing:

1. It is said that we want to innovate, but nobody proposes new things.

2. Innovation is confused with 5S, but innovation has nothing to do with cleaning your desk. Not even with continuous improvement. Innovation is disruption. It is demolishing what does not work, not improving it by 1% every day.

3. When you finally decide to innovate, ideas are thrown on the table, and they are the same old ideas. Nobody dares to think something really challenging, risky.

4. You don’t have an award for innovation. Get it right: You hired people to fulfill certain obligations associated with a certain position. If the job profile does not include the item “Continuously innovate”, do not expect someone in your company to take the initiative to innovate.

5. Innovating is not innovating foolishly. If you run a company, you have to communicate the direction that the company is going to follow, so that the people who want to innovate are aligned with that direction. A wonderful idea that goes the other way is useless. It’s blur.

6. Innovating is not saying ” come on, think, you b*stards!” Innovation arises in a creative, positive environment, with challenges (not threats), with rewards (not punishments), with stimuli (not kicks).

7. The few ideas that come up are thrown away. They are not followed up; they are not carried out. They die of indifference.

8. Innovation is not a new advertising campaign. Innovation is not out there; it is in your people. If you sell trash, and you paint it blue, your client will realize that you are now selling blue trash.

9. Innovation is not for the shy or the mediocre. Nor for those who wrap themselves in the banner of innovation and do not know how to carry it out.

Get me this: Innovation is a process, it is a commitment, it is inevitable. Either you take it, and with it you start a different adventure that can extend the life of your company 10 more years, or you leave it and milk the cow until she dies.

For those of us who have been promoting the implementation of innovation systems in companies for more than a decade, it is a small frustration to see how we are not in a hurry to speed up change processes. We see how in other countries the new visionary companies acquire world markets, including ours, and we do not move anyway.

The good news is that we have time to act. Now what you need for your company to be able to innovate is people who speak up front, with their hearts, with passion, who dare to say “I disagree” and propose alternatives. In this decade there is no longer a place for those who say “… yes, boss, as you order …”.

Roberto Carlos (RöC)

Roberto Carlos (RöC)

CEO, Design & Innovation Fanatic


RöC es un emprendedor serial, creativo irreverente y fanático de la innovación. 
Es el creador del Factor WOW, filosofía de negocios que está revolucionando la manera como las empresas utilizan la innovación como arma secreta para crear experiencias extraordinarias en sus clientes. 
Es Director de FactorWOW.com, firma de consultoría en innovación que desde 2011 ha dado asesoría y capacitación a las empresas más grandes de México. 
Como conferencista ha dictado cientos de conferencias y talleres sobre innovación, marketing, liderazgo y creatividad en todo México y América Latina. 
Es autor de 10 libros, de los que se destacan “Factor WOW”  y “75WOW”,  “Rik, el niño sin imaginación” y “40 ventajas de ser pelón”.