One of the interesting things about corporate innovation departments is that if they are doing their jobs correctly, then they should feel dangerous to the rest of the company. An innovation group which does not have a goal of actively disrupting the main business of the company is likely not doing its job.
However, make no mistake, this group is NOT as a threat to the rest of the business, but as the womb which can birth new businesses, which can grow into its place, it’s more like its salvation.
Actually, that’s a pretty good metaphor: innovation groups birth new businesses with an eye to eventually replacing the parent business. They become the parent business, and the cycle starts all over again. So yes, the innovation group is a threat to the main business, but in a good way.
If we understand that businesses, like human beings, have a finite slice of time in which to be born, live and die, a business without an innovation group or program is like royalty with no heir: it’s the end of the line.