Spend sufficient time in a large corporation and you are likely to discover that your employer is a slow learner. The larger the company, the more severe the problem.
CEOs generally attribute the glacial pace of change to the size of their enterprise; for example, the CEO of my former employer compared moving the company in a new direction to turning an aircraft carrier.
While I'm sure size does slow things down, the more fundamental problem may be the corporate system itself. Rare is the company that encourages new ideas to trickle up. More often, with success, the nimble enterprise created by hard-working founders with big ideas becomes a doltish behemoth a generation of two down the road. Almost inevitably, the top jobs end up in the hands of cautious men and women who spend their days holding meetings, signing papers and saying yes or no to other people's proposals. Imagine Apple in the hands of Louis Gerstner or Jeffrey Immelt. Those who rise through the ranks in this environment are those who most closely resemble the current executives. New thinking is stifled. As self-satisfaction rises, leadership slides and innovation slows to a crawl.
Surely there's a better way, probably multiple better ways. Any ideas?