Back to Insights

Look to the Middle of the Organization for Innovation Support

To help ensure their ventures gain market traction, top innovation leaders seek support from the middle of their organizations. In this U+ Insight, our partners at the ILO Institute explain the value of mid-level innovation support, and how to get it.

Look to the Middle of the Organization for Innovation Support

Innovation leaders kicking off new initiatives, or revitalizing programs that have stalled, tend to look for support at the top of the org chart. That makes a great deal of sense.

Yet several of the most effective large-organization innovation leaders we’ve worked with put special attention on getting support from the middle of the organization. "That’s where the most effective blockers live," the head of innovation at a European technology firm shares. "The big boss might love you, but if you have a thousand managers who feel threatened or just don’t care about something new and important succeeding, you have little chance of doing something that really gets to scale."

Key observation: succeeding at the proof-of-concept level is not real success. Succeeding at scale, after the hand-off to the people who run the core operational groups in the firm, is the real measure of success.

How to win over the folks in the middle? "Understand what they are measured by, what they value, and give it to them. Use your budget, your people, your brains to help them have success in their world before you ask them to change. That’s your agenda for at least your first three months, and maybe six, maybe even 12. Then you can start to do other things."

The U+ Method can efficiently and effectively lead the development, implementation, and improvement of innovations in any sector. To date, we have used this method to bring 100+ products to market, creating over $2 billion in value for Fortune 1000 companies. Check out U+ success stories here.

Get 20 minutes with Sean, the Managing Partner of U+ Americas, to learn more about how U+ can help your company innovate successfully.

Launched in 2005, ILO is a membership organization for large companies, government agencies and not-for-profits, bringing senior executives leading innovation together for knowledge sharing and community building. ILO has completed more than 300 best-practice research reports, focusing on emerging challenges and opportunities. To learn more about ILO, membership benefits, and how to join, visit

Don't miss the opportunity to boost your innovation strategy 100x and unlock the full potential of your next venture. Learn more about this game-changing platform, and book a demo here.