If you do that 6 things, you kill your innovation program…

Kill ideas
you kill ideas!

Yes, you kill good, very good may be disruptive ideas. And you even don’t realize it.

  1. You have a suggestion box (or a so-called « idea management system »)
    I haven’t say that for all long time. But now that I have some lessons learned about the suggestion box, that’s clear: That’s the n°1 idea killer. Usually organisation don’t anticipate enough, both the flow of new ideas to evaluate and the needed effort to implement them. As most of the time suggestion box comes along with an « idea per year » objective, the disaster is guaranted. No feedback from the process, never, no news, never, nobodies know what is your idea, where it is, if it has a chance to be deployed: a disaster. Ideas are our cheered eyes. no taking care of your employees ideas is the best way to aknowledge innovation as another management mantra.
  2. Don’t celebrate failure
    You are risk adverse. Your whole organisation is shaped to avoid taking risks… How do you want to innovate? Innovating is taking risk. It is allowing people to fail, to step again and fail again, until they manage, for the wealth of the organisation. So celebrate failure as success (a bit more for success)
  3. Don’t put innovation as a running task
    You can’t innovate on demand. One can think it is cheaper, less risky, but it is not wealthy at all. And really often even not efficient. You will never sustain innovation mindset by asking to innovation on the fire.
  4. Legal, accounting and purchase at first
    For sure that’s done. Put Legal, accounting and purchase on the front when dealing with ideas and you are done. Giving care to ideas is protecting them, taking care of them. There will be legal issues and financial issues with new ideas. For sure. Well intentioned killers are around in the organisation. Create a dedicated process where legal and accounting and purchase will have the look but protect the ideas there.
  5. You think outside the box…
    Believe me. I have never seen a company which is lacking of ideas. You have ideas all around your organisation. You don’t need to « think outside the box ». you need to recognise the good the perfect idea when it shows up. Sustain innovation by harvesting, evaluating, testing, testing and testing and of course measuring the impact. That is one of the key.
  6. Innovation come by itself
    Innovate is not a natural outcome of most of the organisation. Our organisation are designed to deliver things they know. Not the unknown. As most of the insights you will get from all sources you could have will tend to threaten your current business model they will not be taken as opportunities but as risks. in reality they are the fuel to innovate.

To innovate wisely one has to put an innovation-friendly organisation in place. That’s a hard job. As a leader or CEO it is of your responsibility for the long term success of your organisation. One has to put innovation as reflexes, kept in mind of all employees by the top management.

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