The quest for innovation, transforming your business, overwhelms most organizations. Most organizations just don’t know where to start, or worse they believe they’re doing it right. While there’s no 3 step recipe that anyone can follow to innovate, there are principles that make it more certain that an organization is on the right path to innovation.
All innovative organizations are different, but all innovative organizations are alike in how they turn creative ideas into products and services that deliver value. With that said, here are a few things that explain why your organization is not as innovative as you want it to be:
You’re not leading it
This is where it starts. Innovation is another code name for leadership, whether it starts at the top or at the bottom it has to start somewhere. No leadership, no innovation.
It’s not about doing more, it’s about doing less
Subtract to innovate. You have to do more of what drives it, and less of what impedes it.
You’re not making time for it
Creativity is messy, it never happens when people are bogged down with repetitive things to do. Creativity shines when people daydream, whether this means anyone can innovate, or only a special few can, the principle is the same: make time for it.
You don’t dedicate resources to it
Innovation work requires resources just like any project. Most organizations are more focused on dedicating resources to projects that maintain the status quo, and rarely have a resources left for projects that create tomorrow.
You protect the past
Organizations are not idea starved, they are courage starved. Leaders are more prone to kill ideas that don’t go with their way of thinking, this is how innovation dies inside established organizations.
You have to understand that initial ideas are ugly babies, they need time and nurturing to start taking shape. This is how you protect the future, and not the past.
You don’t celebrate and support it
The way you encourage and support innovation is by celebrating learning from mistakes. Mistakes are lessons, these lessons are stepping stones to figuring out a path forward. Keept at it, fail better.
Bottom line: Innovation is messy, it’s the opposite of straight forward. Innovation is as much about attitude and perspective than it is about process. Embrace the grind, adapt, learn and iterate.