Top Ten Reasons Why Innovation Might Not Be Working In Your Company
Organizations are always looking for ways to be innovative, but not all companies find them.
Are you wondering why everyone else in your industry is passing you by? Below I present to you
10 reasons why your company may not have caught the innovation bug. Some of these ideas are tried
and true, some are the work of innovative companies like 3M and Google, and some are just plain common sense.
Companies are afraid of change. Change can be good, but it can also be bad, very bad.
Why mess with a good thing? Why risk your job for the sake of change? Fear causes companies to
pay lots of money for a quick fix only to have it backfire and reduce their ROI. You must resist
fear and take risks to innovate. Base your innovations on sound principles, but don't hold back
because of the fear of being different.
Great ideas and hard work cost money, but not as much as you would think. Spend your
money in the right ways. Provide your workers with a meaningful, exciting environment and innovation
will foster. Better yet, hire innovative people and give them the power and resources to make things happen.
Many companies want to innovate. They are ready for change, but they don't know where
to begin. Hire employees that have been there before, or bring in a consultant to teach you the
ways. Don't stop there. After you learn how to create innovative ideas, implement them. There is
nothing worse than a company that talks a lot about being innovative but does nothing to live it.
As IBM says, "Stop Talking, Start Doing".
4. Corporate Bureaucracy:
Too much red tape and nothing gets done. Meeting, talks, seminars,
studies, reports, and other documentation for the sake of documentation slow people down. Even
large organizations should have parts of their company act like a start-up. Then slowly refine
processes to make them leaner and more efficient. Implement these processes throughout the
organization and the gears of the innovation machine will start turning.
5. Poor Leadership:
Innovation starts at the top. A strong leader knows that a company must
continually adapt to be ahead of the curve. Poor leadership worries too much about the stock
price, and not enough about creating the future instead of just surviving it. Great leaders stick
their neck out and get involved in the process. You can't just sit in the back of the room and
watch things happen anymore.
6. No Sharing of Information:
In order to innovate, information must flow freely. Let everyone
in the company know what everyone else is working on. Encourage collaboration. Schedule set times
during the year when workers present their work to their coworkers. Be even more bold by looking
towards other companies for information and idea sharing.
7. No Recognition:
Workers like to be recognized for their hard work. Award them, and make it
visible to all of their peers. Let your employees write articles, contribute to publications, and
make a name for themselves in their discipline.
8. Bottom Up Thinking:
To foster innovation, it is better to work with a top-down approach. Look
at the big picture. Create a vision of what you would like your business to be, and then start
implementing strategies to get you there.
9. Handcuffing Employees:
Let your employees have time to work on their own things. A perfect
example is Google's 80/20 policy. Workers are allowed to work on their own projects 20% of their
time. In a lot of instances, that 20% leads to new products for the company. Workers will usually
be passionate about a project they chose to do, and passionate work produces extraordinary results.
10. No Customer Input:
You need to know what your customers are like. Yes, customers' tastes and
likes are fickle, but it is better to know as much as you can about your users rather than nothing
at all. Take time out of your schedule to do what your customers do, go where they go, and try and
get a sense of how they would feel about your product.
Posted on November 19, 2007 5:16 PM |