Innovation is a fleeting concept that stumps many companies. Why? Because it takes great effort, time and research. Most ideas never go beyond being written down in brainstorm sessions. In fact, the odds of a new product idea coming to fruition are less than 4 percent.
Steven L. Blue, president and CEO of Miller Ingenuity, offered some great perspective on the topic with five surefire ways to kill your company’s Innovation. Here are some eye-opening summations on what he has to say:
Don’t make innovation a top priority and an “all-hands” job requirement.
“Many CEOs want innovation, but only after ‘the real work’ gets done. Here is a news flash: If you want to survive, you had better make innovation ‘the real work.’ Make it a top priority for everyone in the company, not just the engineering department.”
Don’t give people the training they need to innovate.
“When you make everyone responsible for innovation, it can be very scary. People will be afraid they aren’t up to the job because they are ‘not creative.’ Studies have debunked the myth that you are either born an Einstein or you’re not. The truth is everyone can be creative if they are trained in the principles of creativity.”
Don’t give people the time to innovate.
“It is all well and good to expect innovation but not give people the time and space to do it. If you don’t do this, employees will default to the tasks at hand – making the doughnuts. After all, they get paid to make the doughnuts. They are comfortable making the doughnuts. Unless you give them permission to do otherwise, that is all they will do.”
Don’t give people a place to innovate.
“I built what I call a ‘Google-like campus in a factory,’ which is a high-tech space designed to facilitate innovation. Our employees named it the Creation Station. My employees are welcome to gather there whenever they want to. … Some people will tell you such a space is a waste of money and it has no (return on investment). … To that I say you have the wrong employees. So, get the right ones.”
Don’t take risks to innovate.
“Without risk, there can be no innovation. The world of innovation is murky and uncertain. You must give people your permission to fail; otherwise, they won’t even try. I tell CEOs all the time, don’t take risks – take bigrisks. Little risks have puny returns. Little risks don’t motivate people to do extraordinary things.”
For Blue’s complete article, click here.