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What Challenges do Innovators Have When Joining a Large Organization?

Author: Sarah A Scala, M. Ed & OD, ACC
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

In 2018, Sarah Scala Consulting partnered with MindEdge Learning as a subject matter expert on Team Creativity, Innovation, and Employee Performance. I was interviewed to produce video content about specific topics that were incorporated into their online learning courses for MindEdge’s clients. For the course focused on Innovation in Teams and Organizations, Creativity was defined as the generation of new ideas, while Innovation was defined as commercialization of those ideas to create value. This is part of a blog series about this project.  

If you are thinking of switching from entrepreneurship to a company, it is helpful to plan your strategy during you transition. Innovators can negotiate their way to success. Challenges for innovators when joining large organizations can include a lack of control, reduced autonomy, and minimized risk.  

When you’re used to being innovative and creative, and then join an organization that has a strict or restrictive culture, your ideas can be crushed right from the start instead of allowing you to test for failure. Many organizations prefer consistency, safety, and doing what they already know works. However, this doesn't promote innovation, new solutions, new diagnosis, new products, or new services if they’re doing the same things over and over again.

To negotiate time and space for creativity, get agreement with your leadership on the benefits of innovation. Negotiate and try to carve out some space for you to “play in the sandbox” to test new ideas. Many of Google's great services have come from their 20% time where they can work on Skunk Works-types of projects.

See my short video on the Overcoming Innovator Challenges.

Check out some of the solutions that we provide in the areas of Team Development, Team Simulations, and Team Coaching.

What challenges have you encountered as an Innovator joining a large organization?  Comment below.

Questions? Let’s connect. I would love to hear your success stories. Please send them to: or visit

Meet the Author: Sarah Scala

A dynamic consultant, coach, and educator, Sarah Scala provides organization and leadership development, executive coaching, succession planning, change management, public speaking facilitation, and team development solutions. Her work transforms performance of executives, leaders, and teams, helping them reach their highest potential. She supports US-based and global clients across cultures, generations, geographies, and diverse industries.

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