Five ways to ruin your innovation process

There are many ways that companies unknowingly sabotage their own innovation process. When there are so many external challenges already, making sure you have a good innovation process that you maximize will deliver the best results. Here are five ways to screw up your innovation process and what you can do to turn them around.

1. Innovation is too episodic

Innovation requires consistent resources and work 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 generally serves to waste resources that could have been used to test and innovate effectively within a good process. By setting a regular budget and incorporating it into your regular workflow, sparks of innovation will be produced as a regular part of the business.

2. Resources do not flow through the innovation process

In most organizations, resources flow to the most powerful departments and the innovation process generally does not get the regular resources it requires. By fueling the process and realizing that not all implementations will be successful, your innovation process will improve over time and you will eventually be able to innovate solutions on demand.

3. Try to fit the innovation into the old structure.

Most large organizations have habits, as do people, and they tend to resist change. When companies simply try to apply processes to the structures they have, they often don’t work as expected. Instead, you need to take a different approach in which the process takes the status quo and seeks to turn it around. Innovate and iterate on process and people often.

4. Very little diversity of thought; not enough creativity

Too many organizations try to implement a process with only a few key members of the creative team, ignoring the creative capacity of everyone in the company. Each member of staff is a source of creativity and should not 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 throughout the process, and sooner or later, you will find a winner.

5. Treat assumptions as knowledge

The assumptions that people make, even based on the best intelligence, rarely concern how an innovation or process works in the real world. Being overly presumptuous about the process causes organizations to trust their instincts rather than the data. Changing the process to operate on data and test assumptions will often produce the best results and avoid the consequences of being caught off guard when an innovation does not work according to plan.

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