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.
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