In a nutshell, here's the quintessential paradox. I've invested over 20 years of my life studying and researching the field of creativity and innovation field, with, at least, the last 15 designing and implementing innovation systems across all types of organizations. I've seen organization's adopt innovation best practices and I've seen their innovation output increase significantly, many times representing the key to their continued competitiveness and outright survival. I have enough empirical evidence to conclude that organizational design - in the broadest sense: strategy, structure, processes, capabilities, metrics, etc. - as an independent variable, will determine an organization's innovative output.
Having said that, I can't count the times where I've witnessed innovation occurring within the confines of an organization, not because of management but, despite of management! People, often in sheer acts of disobedience, ignoring or mocking bureaucratic barriers and driving innovation with a vengeance.
So, does innovation happen because of management or despite of management? There's evidence of both. However, since I've dedicated most of my research, work, and publications to the former, I'll use this blog for the latter. It occurs to me that I can use this blog to inventory cases of bottom-up innovation and, hopefully, get people to share their experience as well. I don't know, perhaps a theory of what it takes to innovate from the bottom-up may emerge. For the time being, it'll be an interesting experiment.