The biggest change that is needed is creating a new mindset
I think you covered it well, Rob. Regret avoidance is a big deal in an industry that already has proven paths to success. And like you mentioned, performance tends to be judged using short-term metrics that are very unforgiving of the truly innovative long-term, long-shot initiatives.
One barrier I might add is the impact of the level of turnover: you need stability so people can see their ideas through, but companies that have a lot of stability can also have a tendency to favor that "proven path" vs the cutting edge (if it ain't broke...).
In my short career I have seen major multi-year initiatives get scrapped after a change in leadership.
I agree that the one barrier that can be changed is culture and mindset, but it sure is no easy feat, especially in a world of unprecedented levels of employee turnover in all ranks and industries! Maybe you should write an article on that :).
Thanks for the thought - provoking articles. Keep'em coming!