Innovative cultures are generally depicted as pretty fun. Other characteristics extolled by management books include tolerance for failure, willingness to experiment, psychological safety, highly collaborative, and nonhierarchical. And research supports the idea that these behaviors translate into better innovative performance.
But despite the fact that innovative cultures are desirable and that most leaders claim to understand what they entail, they are hard to create and sustain. How can practices apparently so universally loved—even fun—be so tricky to implement?