Flaws of innovation

Flaws are Failure Laws. Rules to follow for the failure of a system. Every business context and organization has a set of uncontested rules. Those working mostly well for the running business but creating failure drivers for innovation. Finding and fixing them in your business context creates a winning platform. A compilation is here for reference.

Flaws of Innovation
1. Rejecting ideas that at first glance appear to be small. Going after only big-bets.
2. Assuming that only new products count – not new services or improved processes
3. Multiple groups/divisions launching similar solutions at once that confuse customers and increase internal complexity.
4. Applying the same tight planning, budgeting and controls like existing business operations.
5. Applying the same performance metrics and reward system like existing business operations.
6. Isolating and Insulating innovative pursuits and established enterprises from each other. Creating new and rigid silos!
7. Creating and differentially treating two classes of corporate citizens – those who have all the fun (innovators/ intrapreneurs) and those who slog and make the money (steady-state-business-managers)
8. Allowing innovators/ intrapreneurs to be idea-hoppers than becoming new-venture-builders.
9. Assuming that innovation teams should be led by the best technical people than intrapreneurs
10. Assuming that all intrapreneurs learn-on-the-job than providing a head-start through coaching/mentoring in a structured way. Pushing people to their next level of incompetence than preparing them for the job of an intrapreneur.

Remedies for these flaws
1. The portfolio approach to innovation – a mixture of big-bets and bouquet of mid-range ideas while supporting small and continuous improvement
2. Encouraging: product, process, technology, and business-model-innovations with growth as a focus
3. Controlled experiments supported by the unified Go-to-market approach
4. Flexibility in planning, execution and control systems with Time and money boxing method.
5. Innovation KPIs and performance measurements
6. Continuous interaction and interchange of resources between existing and new initiatives.
7. The democratic process of operations and periodic rotation of people between new and existing business.
8. Aligning intrapreneurs with corporate objectives of creating new opportunities for growth and making accountable for incubation and development. Defining clear exit and transition methods and governance mechanisms.
9. Getting the best intrapreneur to run/lead the pursuit, supported by a competent team.
10. Training, Coaching/ Mentoring intrapreneurs to pursue building-new-venture as a career.
Finding and fixing flaws in your system that hinders innovation is an essential first step toward building an entrepreneurial culture.

be a #dreamerdoer

Real innovation happens when people do it for fun

There is a growing urgency to innovation these days. When it is triggered by necessity to differentiate the offering, to find and fill unoccupied spaces in the market and to keep up with competition, the stress levels are higher. Companies force themselves to innovate faster and faster.

Fundamental discoveries and innovations happened due to the exploration of individuals who were either frustrated with status-quo or just for fun. Take cases of origin of WWW and Linuxoperating system. Most of the real innovations didn’t start with the profit motive.

A bunch of enthusiastic people smart enough to make technology do what they intended, started with interesting problems. They exercised technology to its fullest extent because exploring new ideas was fun.

With innovation playing a larger role in business success, companies are striving to find ways to get more effective innovation per dollar spent. This puts lot more pressure on leaders and the system. Leaders starting out in the innovation drive, focus most of their energy, time and money on creativity. Major gaps show-up is the capacity of the system to implement ideas rapidly and cost-effectively. Implementation requires intrapreneurs to transform the concepts into reality. Leaders have to create working intrapreneurs – those who enjoy pursuing ideas and convert them to reality.

If you are an intrapreneur, don’t follow money while building the craft. Follow the excitement. Let the craft build its own freewheel. Let the system take care of finding ways to monetizing the innovation. Decouple money from the process of innovation. As a leader, let people invent the future because it’s fun. Real innovation happens when people pursue it for the fun of it.

be a #dreamerdoer