Innovation is no longer just a nice bonus to have in your organization, it is a necessity. Innovation is the engine that will keep your organization from lagging behind and dying out, instead propelling it even further beyond than you could have ever imagined! And for innovation, of course, your organization needs to implement a thorough, robust, powerful innovation program! This program needs to encompass every step of the innovation journey, from idea generation to refining and sharing as well as evaluating. However, there are five critical mistakes you need to avoid to make sure your innovation program takes off and delivers effective results. And we’ve compiled them all for you right here:
1. Timeline Management
The timeline is a very crucial piece of the puzzle in any innovation program. You need to make sure that everything is properly coordinated and aligned so that the pieces can start neatly falling into place when the time comes. Every node, every component of the program must be extensively analyzed and optimized while keeping this in mind to ensure a smooth, seamless timeline.
Before anything starts moving, the very first thing that needs to be ensured that there is a clear, defined structure of who owns what. (i.e. who is undertaking what responsibility). Within the program and within those partaking in it, this is one of the most important parts of the equation. Once there is a well-defined layout of the organizational structure and people’s exact roles and responsibilities, then everything can start moving forward smoothly.
As important as ownership is, collaboration isn’t far behind either. Two heads are always better than one, and so on. Strong structures and outlines need to be in place to enable people to collaborate effortlessly and without confusion. Collaboration is and has always been the keystone of great work and great innovations.
4. Managing Differences
There will inevitably be significant disagreements and differences of opinion within almost every team along the way. The key is in how these are managed. The answer is not to reassign or shift members around. In fact, the disagreements are what bring out the best work as people’s ideas are sharpened against each other. Having people with different approaches to problems and different types of ideas brings out the best results in terms of innovation.
5. Thinking Big
As an innovation program, the program will by definition come up with some seemingly outlandish or wild ideas. You may have the urge to just discard these ideas outright as they do not seem practical or feasible. But those are the whole point of the program! These radical new ideas are the foundation upon which you can build and refine and ultimately come up with something bold, fresh, and unique!
And that concludes the five horrible mistakes you might be making with your organization’s innovation program! If you’re just starting an innovation program, then be sure to incorporate these insights into its development process to ensure that it goes smoothly. And if you already have an innovation program running, thoroughly investigate it for any of these mistakes and get on fixing them ASAP!