A reaction of many forward-thinking organisations in times of big change is to create an R&D department, a ‘lab’ or some kind of Skunk Works.
That way, the risk is isolated away where it can’t harm the rest of the organisation.
It makes sense. All the awesome ideas created or discovered by the privileged bright minds can bring them back to the colleagues they’ve left behind like it’s some kind of precious life-preserving root vegetable from a new land.
When you introduce new concepts and new ways of working to people who are quite happy working in the way they have always worked, there’s a culture clash. No matter how awesome the idea is, it will be met with distain simple because it’s foreign and unfamiliar. Simply put, it suffers from the Not Invented Here syndrome.
Plus, the organisation is shielded from failure yet isn’t likely to benefit from that failure, which is the really important bit.
Instead, a culture that somehow fosters awesomeness at any level needs to be slow-baked into the organisation itself not just isolated off.
Of course, many organisations might maintain they are simply too large to instill such change effectively. Look no further than Google’s 20% time to see how to overcome NIH.