There are many ways that companies unknowingly sabotage their own innovation process. When there are so many external challenges already, making sure that you have a good innovation process that you maximize will provide the best results. Here are five ways to ruin your innovation process and what you can do to change turn them around.
1. Innovation is too episodic
Innovation requires consistent resources and working the process. Too many companies get excited about implementing new innovative ideas that end up failing because they don’t have a great process to ensure their success. This method rarely produces good innovations and usually serves to waste resources that could have been used to test and innovate effectively within a good process. By setting a regular budget and working it into the regular workflow, sparks of innovation will occur as a regular part of business.
2. Resources don’t flow through the innovation process
In most organizations the resources flow to the most powerful departments and the innovation process usually doesn’t get the regular resources that it requires. By feeding the process and realizing that not every implementation is going to be successful your innovation process will improve over time and eventually be able to innovate solutions on demand.
3. You’re trying to fit innovation into the old structure
Most large organizations have habits, just as people do, and they tend to resist change. When businesses just try to apply processes to the structures that they have in place, they often don’t work as intended. Instead a different approach needs to be taken where the process takes the status quo and looks to turn it on its head. Innovate and iterate on the process and people often.
4. Too little diversity of thought; not enough creativity
Too many organizations try to implement an process with just a few key creative team members, while ignoring the creative capacity of everyone around the company. Every staff member is a source of creativity and you shouldn’t stop there. By looking to your customers and competitors for inspiration and data for your innovation process you have an endless supply of ideas to test through the process and will find a winner sooner or later.
5. Treating assumptions like knowledge
The assumptions that people make, even based on the best intelligence, are rarely how an innovation or process work out in the real world. Being too assumptive with the process causes organizations to rely on their instincts instead of the data. Changing the process to operate off of data and testing the assumptions often will yield the best results and prevent the consequence of being caught off-guard when an innovation doesn’t go according to plan.