I was thinking today, between flights, about the kabuki dance that innovation often becomes. What I mean is that many CEOs and executives talk about innovation and the benefits of innovation. They describe how innovation will help their firms grow and become more profitable, and create differentiated products or enter new markets. All of these suppositions are true. Innovation can help a firm accomplish these goals. But only if the people tasked with innovation have the skills, capabilities, resources and political cover to do innovation.