Tag Archives: Innovation

10 thought provoking questions to find hidden pain points

There are pain points you can identify in an initial sales discussion, and then there are the pain points that are hidden in plain sight. I believe these are the ones that matter, precisely because they have gone unquestioned for a long time.

How do you find them? Easy, by questioning the status quo.

Whenever I give one of my innovation workshops, the part about questioning assumptions always draws the most attention. This past Saturday, was such a day. You see, questioning (which is one of the five key innovation skills) is perceived as being irritating. Because when you question common practices and opinions, said one my guests, you get into trouble.

Yes, very true. Nobody likes their beliefs to be questioned. But, this is also a big reason why companies fail: their belief of future success is anchored in their past success.

Case in point, Blackberry. They believed that the pain points they were eliminating when they started, were still relevant. This made them an easy target for irrelevance since they never adapted.

What can business leaders do to ensure they are enabling and not blocking innovation?

What can business leaders do to ensure they are enabling and not blocking innovation?

Paul Hobcraft recently reviewed a couple of innovation reports. One implies that executives say that innovation is important for growth, and the other says that executives nods their heads in agreement but don’t follow through.

I’m not surprised by this. Of course, it all comes back the the beloved ROI. And, innovation outcomes, like everything else, are hard to predict. This is a classic case of analysis paralysis, and by being in this state, these leaders are blocking innovation.

If they were to commit, what would “enabling innovation” look like?

In our current interconnected and transparent world, there are a few things that immediately signal that management is enabling innovation:

The one thing any non-innovative leader can do to enable innovation

Teams working on ideas

multidisciplinary teams working on ideas

So, you’re the CEO of a company and you are not known to be innovative. What do you do?

No fear, for you are not alone.

For all the talk about the need for innovation, the truth is most CEO’s are not innovative. They are much more focused on maintaining the current narrative than on discovery. But, there is one thing they can do to walk the talk:

Get out of the way.

Even though there is a lot of literature about how to innovate, many leaders have not understood and implemented a key insight about how to create the conditions for innovation to happen. And so it is here, where they can have an immediate influence!

How to start?