Middle managers get the metrics they’re supposed to achieve every year.
They’re usually something like, “do more of the same, but make 30% more of it”.
Now, put yourself in their shoes.
You have to achieve more of the same.
Do you suddenly think, “oh, I must innovate?”. Of course not.
Are you delighted when someone suggests diverting your resources to something brand new outside your 30%? Nope.
Do you do everything you can to shut down distractions so you can keep your job. Yep.
Middle management won’t innovative because of the system they’re part of.
Not because they’re not innovative at all.