When we talk about innovation, we sometimes forget that not everyone is on board with the new and revolutionary. Some people would rather stick to their same schedule and do the same thing, day after day: a predictable and comforting routine. For champions of innovation, this mindset is difficult to understand. However, you’re likely to meet many people over the course of your career who are simply uncomfortable with innovation, and you will have to learn to work with them. The first step to compromise is understanding, so let’s take a look at some of the reasons people are sometimes uncomfortable with innovation.
Innovation is risky. Customers are not asking for it. We are already successful… Getting momentum behind significant innovation is difficult, and sometimes it’s easier for a business to stay in what they deem a safe spot. Let’s look at seven arguments that inhibit innovation as well as their counter arguments.
Surveys show that the large majority of senior executives see innovation as critical for their businesses but what if you want to make your organization more agile and innovative where should you start? You could launch a big initiative with grand statements, training classes and an ideas scheme but you tried all those last year and they fizzled out. It is better to begin with a brutally honest assessment of what is preventing innovation from happening today.
Have you ever shared new big ideas at work? What happened...? Did they give you a standing ovation? Did someone bake you a cake to celebrate? Did you get promoted? Or I am a little too optimistic?
In cities all over the world an ugly war is being fought by “traditional” taxi companies against a new form of competition from Uber and other ride-sharing services. This article points out three things traditional taxi companies have in common with businesses of the past.
Many organizations in both the public and private sectors suffer from a corporate culture which is risk averse and fearful of failure. People are reluctant to try new things or even to suggest innovations. They remember old stories about colleagues being punished for experiments that failed. They have learnt that it is safest to keep a low profile and focus on standard operating procedures. Mean while the executive committee is desperately trying to think of ways to make the outfit more agile and innovative.
Summer is for relaxing, but also for reading books in more depth. During his vacation Bengt Järrehult read Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow for the second time and more thoroughly. Here are Bengt’s thoughts on how Prospect Theory applies to innovation related decisions - the decisions that may seem stupid and irrational – but are they really?
Innovation is always a result of taking risk and mastering these risks successfully. However, in the past few years the risks resulting from the overall economic situation seems to have increased for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). As they cannot control these external risks many of them seem to stay away from too risky innovation projects. This has implications for the SMEs and for those who provide innovation support for SMEs?
Incumbents. Everyone who isn’t one hates them and if they don’t already tease you enough from their ivory towers you just know that their lazy overpaid salesman is playing golf somewhere waiting for orders to drop into his inbox before he goes to the nineteenth hole. So how will your sales teams topple the golfer?
Innovation is a paradox for management. On the one hand you are well aware that you have to take new roads before you reach the end of the present dead end street. On the other hand it is risky. It takes a lot of time. And it takes a lot of resources. Research shows that only one out of seven innovation projects is successful. So saying yes to innovation is a step into the unknown. It creates fear of failure, which causes fear to innovate. It's like sailing to the South Pole like Shackleton, where the surrounding ice can stop you any moment.
Why is your boss neglecting the fantastic idea you came up with even though it looks promising (in your eyes at least)? And why is your boss so intent on avoiding negative situations? This is an irritating behavior many of us have experienced and one that Bengt Järrehult examines more closely in today’s blog.