IS researchers have argued enterprise information systems should not be built in a top-down manner but instead facilitate bottom-up innovation. Successful implementation of enterprisewide systems (such as enterprise architecture) will increasingly require negotiation and dialog rather than the imposition of ideas from central IT. This bottom-up approach to building enterprise systems now occurs worldwide, regardless of central IT desires. For corporate management, no longer is it an issue of whether bottom-up enterprise information systems are “right” or counterproductive but rather how to deal with the reality of their existence. Bottom-Up Enterprise Information Systems: Rethinking the Roles of Central IT Departments, Communications of the ACM, January 2017.
Our best innovations were always when we adopted something that someone was already doing in the organization. No, these pockets of innovation rarely had any kind of high-level approval. Most of them would not even have considered getting some kind of approval because to them they were just doing their everyday job and this is what came out of it.
As this has been going on for so long, at least for the length of my career, hearing commentary that we need to deal with it always strikes me as “Yeah, so what is new here to even mention it?” What is not new is simply the enduring profound insight that we need reminding of the smart things to do as often as we need to learn something new. These efforts often need a coordinated architecture, for example, to scale up, but even that is better done by the innovators than it is by being taken over by a centralized organization — at least in my experience.
For more see Don’t Squash Your Pockets Of Excellence
What are you doing to spot the innovations in your team and helping them to succeed?