Thursday, 26 August 2010

You dont have license to Innovate

So while in the past few days we are talking about Innovation and ways to build culture's to Innovate.. we left out one important point "Blocking Innovation". While those passionate souls bring Ideas and are keen to Innovate, there are bunch of evil souls that stop them from doing it... this block doesn't come for a reason.. some times it is for Jealousy, Unawareness, Non Risk taking approach , Willingness, No passion towards goal.. above all self ability...

So lets list down the way people deny Innovation in teams, organizations...

Ask for it, Document it, What next?
A lot of cultures ask people to throw ideas, when these ideas start flowing through.. the Innovation Managers do not know how to manage them. Ofcourse when you get bombarded with 10's and 20's of ideas you would not know how to map it to your Product Vision... then you wiki it and there is no way in future to extract it and implement it.

Many times this goes to another level.. a lot of people do not know how to validate if these ideas are good or not.. When they do.. they do not know how to approach it to a destination.

How to solve this ?
Build a process to list down ideas, form a way to evaluate and validate them. Every idea listed needs to be categorized and find a way to delegate this to the right authorities and people who are empowered to help this goal succeed.

Dig the well when you are thirsty
A lot of times you would see requests for Innovation coming when your product is in bad shape, sales are not doing well or things are not going well all together.. All of a sudden you reach office and you would see that all Sr. Managers standing in the work area with all the office walls loaded with Innovation posters and all of them demanding Innovation from the Team in the next quarter...

A while back a friend worked for a company who was building a Travel portal. The business was dripping down in a span of 1 year.. everyone in the Team was asking the decision makers to reform the model, the decision makers chose however to increase inventory instead of increasing effort on SEO, building semantic web product etc... All of a sudden when the business hit the ground.. the management decided to re-engineer the product and the marketing strategy.. Result it was too late to build it back as other players were already running fast with their models.

How to solve this?
Regular evaluation of Innovation in the Team. Form brainstorming groups, create channels to ideate. Bring decision makers with right stats on Innovation Quotient.

Cant afford to fail now

A big bunch of stake holders and decision makers do not want to risk anything not with the figures, business, product thus the risk analysis Teams are formed and these teams do not let Innovation happen. Risk taking abilities and commitment to succeed drives Innovation away.

Resistance to change
Some people just dont want to change. Any new thing in the process is a threat, a problem, an issue and a potential problem. Hence you would find Innovation dying everyday where people are allergic to change.

If it has to happen, It will Happen
A lot of time people just dont want to initiate it. The thought behind is let things go as they are going .. it will happen. This attitude of lay back causes Innovation to die even before it is born.

Just block it
Why do things when they are working fine? Why introduce new things when every thing is good? Wonder what happens?

Budgets, Figures
Extra investment is what gets your profits down. If it can be done by the same people who are already in or even less, then Innovate. I am sure this is something you have been hearing very often. Budgets, dollars and figures always put Innovation on back seat.

Idea created, assigned to someone in Technology further there is nothing. Innovation dies if no ownership exists. I worked in the company where the Sales Manager would bring several small ideas every day to the Team, however there was no ownership in guidance on how , what , when and where... Taj Mahal was never built by the labourers... there was a vision and ownership.

Excessive Pressure
Excessive pressure to deliver always cause Innovation to fail. If your teams are in tremendous pressure to achieve the routine goals of the Team.. Innovation cannot happen when the mind is full with thoughts of survival.

Innovation Teams?

Managements form Innovation teams , dedicated teams to handle Innovations in the organization.. this is a good thought theoretically, but practically it can turn a killer in way to Innovate... Either these teams take monopoly on Innovation.. thus removing the group part of Innovation Or the others in the company start relying ONLY on these Innovation teams.

Now if you are coming across such lame excuses , reasons that stop Innovation in your Teams... wake up, Invest and Build the Culture to Innovate!!!