Why is innovation hard ?

Do you find it hard to innovate in your organisation ?

Find it difficult to prioritise opportunities ?

Do you find that projects don’t deliver to expectations ?

… or feel that more team-time is spent in disagreement than in development ?

If so, you are not alone –  these are all common problems.

Why ? – in a nutshell, because meeting people’s expectations of innovation is often tricky while the higher the benefits being targeting, often the higher the  delivery risk.

If you’d like help with these challenges then teaminnovation is for you

Three reasons we’ve found why innovation is so hard are

  • The future is unpredictable
  • Innovation is often not approached in the best way
  • People won’t agree on what do to !

 The future is unpredictable

Innovation is often defined as making a change which is valuable. For example, this may need a prediction of what a user or other customer will want then successfully setting about devising a product or service that they will chose to use.  Building the new thing takes time and if you get there, there is a good chance that the customer has changed their mind – or that you find that you hadn’t been able to be really clear what they wanted at the outset.

Innovation is often not approached in the best way

There are no guaranteed approaches to innovation, no quality assured process, qualification or manual. This is the nature of a creative discipline. Teams of people tend to take an approach they feel most comfortable with or tackle it in a way determined by their organisation.  This can lead to adoption or tendency towards one of two extremes – a creativity led “suck it and see” approach or trying to rigidly following a formal project management system or repeatable design process. Sadly, neither extreme optimises the chance of profitable innovation.

Creativity led projects can discover radical new ideas and concepts, but tends to lose touch with the user or customer in the delivery phase by focussing too little attention on practicalities such as business model, supply chain, delivery timelines, or budgets.

Formal project approaches are characterised as having a clear set of objectives at the start.  Where a product is the goal, this is often a product specification. This approach has a greater chance of meeting time and budget but can constrain the team unnecessarily, lead to the design of the “product you first thought of”, rather than the best product possible or discourage appropriate consideration of risk-reward trade-off when the specification proves unrealistic.

An ideal innovation approach needs the two extremes of creativity and rigorous project management to co-exist.  That can be quite a trick to pull off.

A reason why one of the two extremes may be adopted is bizarrely (and often unintentionally) that it is seen to reduce the need for people to agree what to do.

People won’t agree on what do to !

Innovation in today’s interconnected world often involves a diverse set of people. It would be a gross simplification to say that the best “design folks” can over-cautious about what can be achieved in a design cycle, while “marketing folks” are both bold about the realms of possibility and unwilling to lower their sights if they are told “we can’t do it like that”. However, teams often have people with strong but diverse opinions about the way forward, or bitter experience of failed projects which they don’t want to repeat.  In truth, these are just two of the views or experiences that parties within most organisations may have. Critically, these are the sorts of people with diverse experience and views who will often need to agree a product specification, feature details or a development approach. The job of resolving these many trade-offs and risk-reward balances is not a popular nor easy one! Sometimes it is not even recognised as something to resolve.

teaminnovation guides you through the dense undergrowth than can impact your innovation journey.

To find out how, start here.

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