Innovation is fast becoming one of the most important factors for an organization’s success and growth. As such, cultivating innovation in your company should be a critical organizational initiative. Despite that, many organizations face internal challenges which hinder the progress of innovation. Here are nine of these common challenges and how to solve them:
Many managers fear that innovation will distract employees
from their day-to-day roles. As a result, around 37% of employees do not feel empowered to take risks or try new ideas. Internal innovation requires the support of leadership and managers to take hold across the organization.
Once employees are empowered, they must also feel motivation to innovate. Motivation initiatives like inventor incentive programs, contests, or even unstructured time can help encourage employees to spend time innovating.
Like any organizational initiative, developing a concise innovation strategy is crucial. An innovation strategy dictates the direction of innovation and its operational implementation. Without one, innovation efforts risk misalignment.
In many organizations, innovation is the responsibility of solely one functional group, like R&D or product development. The myth that one functional group is more suited to innovate than others is a severe hindrance to the pace of innovation; each department provides a unique perspective on the problems of customers which can be critical for driving successful innovation.
Collaboration is the key to innovation. While many organizations understand the importance of collaboration internally, collaboration externally can be equally important. Innovation ecosystems bring together industry partners, customers, and even competitors to drive innovation in the industry forward.
Hiring for innovation and subsequently building diverse teams can provide the organization’s innovation initiatives with a wealth of ideas generated from different perspectives.
Many organizations risk complacency once their current product offerings have reached success. The fear of pulling investment, resources or customer attention from existing offerings can be one of the biggest hindrances to future innovation. However, constant innovation is the key to sustained success long-term.
Deep customer empathy is the key to understanding changes in demand and staying abreast of future trends; it provides the organization with a roadmap for what problems to solve next. Utilizing customer feedback sessions regularly can help keep your organization tuned in to the needs of your customers.
Measuring and benchmarking innovation is core to constantly improving its success. However, traditional KPIs, like sales volume or revenue, may not give your organization the best insight into success. Instead, try measuring on the amount of new ideas generated, percent of time spent on innovation, or the investment value of innovation-related initiatives.
Innovation is crucial initiative for driving success in your organization long-term. When beginning innovation initiatives, it’s important to be aware of and plan for these challenges. Building a strong innovation culture in your organization not only helps to avoid these challenges, but also to ensure that innovation is a strategic focus for every employee. To learn how to develop an innovation culture in your organization, download this ebook.