7 reasons not to innovate
Many organizations feel the need (or are pressured) to innovate, but what most people won't tell you is that innovating is also quite risky if you don't have the right conditions in place.
There are many ways in which you could innovate in your organization and multiple approaches you could take to do so (see graphic below), however innovation is about more than just wanting to innovate and choosing a area to focus on. Innovating requires also creating the right conditions for it to be successful.
Here are 7 conditions that you should look out for that will cripple your innovation initiatives if not identified on time.
1. Fear of failure
Don't innovate if everyone on the team is afraid of failing or making mistakes. Innovation is about experimenting, adapting and thinking outside the box. Fear will only compromise the team's ability to be learn and grow.
"The greatest teacher, failure is" - Yoda
2. Lack of vision
Trying to innovate without a clear picture on what you are looking for. You cannot innovate if you don't know why you are doing it and what you are trying to achieve through that innovation process. Innovating without purpose is just innovation theatre (pretending to innovate).
3. A nice to have
Avoid innovating when there is no real business need or challenge behind it. Some businesses don't need to innovate and want to do it because its trending or sounds "cool". Starting an innovation process with no real need or motivation to change what you are working on, will be a waste of time, money and lead to frustration.
4. No resources
Don't innovate if you don't have the resources or team to execute. Innovation is expensive, and I don't mean only money, it requires a big investment of time and energy to do so. If your team is already swamped in work or you can't invest in building a team for it, well maybe you should wait until you have more manpower or resources.
5. No commitment
Don't innovate if nobody is willing to be responsible about making it happen. Innovation requires having flame-bearers, champions and drivers pushing the process forward and believing in why they are doing so. The entire team needs to walk the talk and be onboard with the process.
6. Short term
Innovation takes time, if long term planning does not exceed 90 days, don't do it. Deciding to innovate is a long-term and on-going commitment, it's not a magical solution that will instantly generate results, but rather a process that once in place should become a part of the organizations DNA, future proofing it and setting it up for success.
7. Wrong mindset
Innovation requires a special type of thinking and process that creates opportunities and connects ideas. Anyone can understand the process and steps that need to happen to innovate, but the key ingredient is for them to also believe in the process and the motivations behind it, otherwise these individuals will be second guessing every decision.
If you did identify one or more of these conditions and still want to implement a successful innovation process for your organization, don't worry, there are many ways to revert them and build the right conditions for your team.
Thank you for reading!
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