It should go without saying that it’s impossible to make a true success of any business venture without innovation. When innovation isn’t part of the mix, there’s nothing new or groundbreaking being accomplished. No real progress is being made and your business goals stand a good chance of not coming fully to fruition. However, it’s also important to understand that innovation doesn’t exist in a vacuum either.
Whether its source is a single idea from a star player or more of a collaborative group effort, it can easily fail under the wrong circumstances. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common reasons why innovation fails and examine what can be done about it. Use what you learn to help identify the best way to put it to work for your company’s future.
Fear of Taking a Risk
Innovation by definition involves some degree of risk and not every company or organization is ready to face that. Following the status quo and sticking with what you already know works is a whole lot safer. This is especially the case if your company’s business plan is already pretty successful. Your products are selling like hotcakes and your services are in demand. You know it’s time to think about growing and expanding, but some of the stakeholders involved don’t necessarily want to gamble with something that’s already functioning like a well-oiled machine.
The solution is to successfully prove that it makes sense to innovate than to stay static and nothing is more effective in this regard than cold, hard facts. Gather data and conduct research that helps show how you plan on making your idea a success. Show how not taking a risk or two is actually more of a gamble than simply embracing innovation is.
Not Everyone Is on the Same Page
When it comes to big changes or risky new projects, it only stands to reason that getting everyone on board at the same time would present something of a challenge. However, it must be accomplished if innovation is ultimately going to result in success. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before your company’s endeavors hit a bottleneck of sorts and can’t continue on their course. This happens even in regards to brands that honestly seem to be unstoppable… like Microsoft.
Such holdups can best be avoided by focusing a significant amount of effort on understanding the concerns, values, and motivations of everyone involved in the process right from the beginning. Yes, this will take some extra time, but it’s also imperative if your goals are to be met. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and in this case, proper socialization is the best preventative medicine.
Losing Focus on the Original Vision
In still other cases, innovation fails not because the ideas involved aren’t amazing, but because they don’t accurately fit a company’s core identity. Innovations and attempts to expand on what your company always does should never mean losing sight of what originally made your brand a success in the first place. If this happens, there’s a chance you could alienate the very people that are responsible for your success – your clients and customers – and inspire them to take their business elsewhere.
Put your head together with the rest of your team and determine how the innovations you’d like to embrace can be used to enhance your brand identity and carry it forward in bold new ways. The goal isn’t to change what’s already working, but give it the momentum it needs to continue to grow and reach incredible new heights. Clarity is the key here and once you’ve achieved that as a team, you’ll be ready to take the next steps.