Five Ways to Ruin Your Innovation Process
by Rita McGrath | 2:00 PM June 5, 2012
As always, Rita McGrath offers incredible but yet simple insights into the challenges of innovation. Whatever innovation process you deploy, challenge yourself with these issues.
"Most companies sabotage their own innovation processes without meaning to. I've noticed five tell-tale signs of this syndrome:
1. Innovation is episodic. We've all seen this movie: A few people in the organization have a burning desire to foster more innovation, or a different kind of innovation, so they invent a new process
2. Resources are held hostage by incumbent businesses. If you want to understand the most significant lever for generating change in a large, complex organization, you need to understand the resource allocation process.
3. You're trying to fit innovation into the structure that you have. Brad Anderson, the very wise recent CEO of Best Buy, made an observation that has stuck with me. "Organizations have habits," he said. "And they will stick to their habits even at the risk of their own survival.
4. Too little diversity of thought; too much isolation from customers' experience.
5. Treating assumptions like knowledge. Never, in my entire career of studying innovation, have I observed a project, initiative, or idea that worked out as planned. Moreover, the great ideas that did work often started as something entirely different. And yet, when many companies try to do something innovative, they expect the same reliable, predictable results that they'd get tweaking something minor in the core business"