Beyond challenges to direction and resources, innovation efforts can really start to fail as ideas have to be turned into actions. InNOvation NO's 7 and 8 are related to issues with people and processes.
7. NO Motivation to Innovate
Something's lacking that dampens an internal drive to innovate. It could be an environment that doesn't promote cooperation, no opportunity to receive credit for your effort, or a lack of other meaningful incentives to bring ideas forward and develop them. The net result is that innovation isn't happening as naturally as it might. What Are Some Things You Can Try?
- Understand the political fray inside the business and how you can use it to your advantage in securing cooperation and active participation from vital parties.
- Cultivate an informal team, if necessary, of like-minded individuals to help trigger innovation.
- Share ALL the credit. In fact, give away ALL the credit so you can make stars of those whose help you've enlisted.
- Be attuned to subtle forms of censorship and protect your innovation team from both internal and external threats.
8. NO Process
There are instances where innovation appears to emanate naturally from within an organization. Chances are though that it's been cultivated and developed through a process, even if it's a relatively small scale and informal one. Without some type of planning and organized means to realize innovation, barriers and bureaucracy can easily block new ideas from coming to fruition.
What Are Some Things You Can Try?
- Employ some type of structured process to collect or generate ideas. Make sure your approach and effort tie back to fundamental business objectives.
- Work toward a bigger pool of ideas from which to narrow, prioritize and pursue certain ones for implementation.
- Use structure liberally to provide people a means to contribute to ideation, a way to share their perspectives, and a path for implementation.
Friday's wrap-up on NO's blocking InNOvation focuses on actually implementing and measuring the results of your innovation work.