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Innovation is the mantra in leadership these days. Isolated innovation efforts abound. Still, most likely, your innovation program will fail, as many do. Not because you’re incapable of good innovation or because you’re lacking a mandate, but because you’ve probably overlooked some fundamental pre-requisites. Don’t worry, we have good news.

Organizations today understand the growth imperative. They understand innovation growing out of their core business brings tremendous opportunities. Many have already built robust innovation programs based on results-driven strategies and efficient innovation management software. But too many have simply ticked the innovation box by delegating this to untrained, under-resourced managers.

Building the capacity for innovation or creating a culture that supports it requires more than just enthusiastic leadership and a corporate mandate. Some people fear becoming the company’s innovation cheerleader is a personal and professional trap: The same CEO empowering you today could be the one shutting you down when you fail to deliver on the promise of turning your company into the next Google.

An account from the frontlines

Some things are easy to embark upon. To begin jogging, you put on running shoes and hit the road. Yet you can’t complete a marathon by casually jogging from time to time. The challenge is to get significant and measurable results—and the same is true of innovation. Innovation without results is useless.

While Exago’s corporate history began in 2008, its co-founders have been talking the talk and walking the walk of innovation for the past 15 years, with diverse companies around the world. We know first-hand: Whatever the country and whatever the industry, the barriers to success are exactly the same.

Main causes of failure

With this paper, we will take you through a list of seven (7) causes of failure we’ve come across:

Put the basic requirements in place, hit the ground running, and build the other components as you gain traction and get up to speed.

  1. Inability to engage your people (Engagement is the fuel to sustain value creation)
  2. Inability to get top management’s attention
  3. Lack of resources
  4. Lack of relevance
  5. Lack of measurable return
  6. Lack of transparency
  7. Lack of purpose

They all seem obvious, yet most initiatives disregard them. You needn’t be overwhelmed by them—and you definitely needn’t wait until you deal with them all to get started. Just make sure you keep them on your radar. We help you know how.

Check your list – 22 tips

We’ve developed 22 tips on how to overcome these challenges and build a solid foundation for long-lasting, resilient innovation in your organization. This checklist, in our experience, increases your odds of success significantly.

You soon learn there’s never an ideal moment to get started. You never have all the necessary components lined up at the same time. So, you put the basic requirements in place, hit the ground running, and build the other components as you gain traction and get up to speed.

Unleash your people’s hidden potential along the way. Before you know it, you’ll hit your innovation stride and won’t ever consider slowing down.

Brace yourself for the ride

Last, we’ve collected case studies of leaders from different industries who have overcome key business challenges through becoming resilient and focused. Remember: Innovation is a process of trial and error. As long as you and your people keep moving forward—recognizing and celebrating your achievements—you’re in the game.

So, how can you make sure your innovation program succeeds?
Learn more now.

About the authors

Pedro da Cunha, a co-founder of Exago, he’s had a clear passion for innovation since he began a career researching robotics. He later worked as a consultant and business manager in firms focused on Information Technology and Management Consulting. He’s been involved in creatively applying technology and progressive corporate ventures, throughout a career spanning multiple countries and industries.

Pedro do Carmo Costa, another co-founder of Exago, his career has centered on the art and science of innovation for almost 15 years. He’s worked to help large companies build an internal capacity for innovation, to evolve and grow successfully. Prior to co-founding Exago, he worked at Strategos with innovation thought leaders such as Gary Hamel and Peter Skarzynski.