#innochat q&a summary: Overcoming innovation inertia

Any discussion on how to overcome the obstacles to innovation is always interesting. My “Law of Innovation Inertia” post generated some interest a few weeks ago, and was the main topic of yesterday’s #innochat. Here are the four questions we discussed about overcoming innovation inertia (with my own answers):

What are the rewards and risks of copying innovation tactics without consideration for strategy?

Rewards are that you will try stuff but the risk is that it is like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks. So, in a sense, it means starting with no apparent risk at all. Point is, strategy is supposed to be hard. Not easy. And innovation is harder if strategy isn’t well defined.

Another risk, is that if you copy simple tactics, that doesn’t mean they will work for you. It might also cause the illusion that you are experimenting when it could be that you are simply wasting your time. One should understand that copying “identity” is very difficult, that is why it is very difficult to copy the Apple’s and Zappos of the world. Their motivations came from within.

In what ways do our own biases keep us from innovating?

Biases are the unconscious blinders we must overcome. Biases are what makes us follow the heard and not consider alternatives.

How should context contribute to the benchmarking of innovation opportunities and performance?

Context is cultural, psychological, geographical, economical and technological. When one doesn’t consider the big picture factors that drive success, one can make assumptions.

How do we encourage multiple views of the future?

Two ways. Modeling that behavior, and asking others for their opinions. Another way is to make it explicit that others will decide.

Also, create expectation that multiple views will be explored.


To read the full transcript of the discussion, click here.

Below is a summary of the discussion: