I like things the way they are.
Chances are you do too.
If you don’t believe me, look at all the routines or quasi-routines in your life.
The morning coffee. Checking your email (probably before getting out of bed). The same parking spot or general area. The list goes on. I write more about this in my post called “Process Matters as Much as the Product.“
“We are creatures of habit,” one of my family members likes to say. He is absolutely correct. But isn’t there more than constant monotonous routines?
Yes. And no.
You can and should embrace routines that make you effective, healthy, and connected to others. But you can also try new things. You can innovate.
However, I find that the 3 Innovation Killers below routinely inhibit innovation in organizations. Perhaps you do as well.
3 Innovation Killers – Take a Look:
1) We’ve never done it that way.
Past success and methods are no guarantee of future achievement. They actually could be inhibiting your growth until you step outside of the box you’ve built for yourself.
I try to assess myself and seek assessment from others on a regular basis. I’ve found that when I don’t do this, I am able to stay “comfortable” but I don’t progress or grow. I’d like to write more about this in a later post.
2) It is unproven.
Doesn’t this just get under your skin. If it was proven, you wouldn’t be innovating. We can easily connect a lack of “proven-ness” to #1 above “We’ve never done it that way.”
When something isn’t proven, you need to work hard to get team input and ownership. I personally have failed in this area before. Has an idea ever been clearer in your head than your team’s? When this happened, I later had to wrestle with the reality of my failure in trying to push an unproven idea without spending sufficient time laying the groundwork for others.
3) It might fail.
You will never innovate and see different results until you get comfortable with failing. One caveat here is that we never want to promote hurting yourself or you organization’s brand. This could happen though if you innovate and you are in charge of marketing, product development, PR, sales, or some other part of the organization.
Figure out what the worst case might be if you do fail. Try to alleviate or prepare for the impact of that situation. Then begin engaging other people and preparing them for the implications of what lies ahead.
Bottom line: You must take risks that could fail if you hope to innovate.
Otherwise you will be telling the world that you like the results you are getting and you do not want to change. I hope that’s not you.
What risks do you need to take? Which of the 3 Innovation Killers do you need to stop saying? Share below.