Innovation is to a company what oxygen is to our bodies — we just cannot survive without it. Similarly, a company doesn’t thrive for long in the market if it doesn’t innovate on a continuous basis. However, the process of innovation management is not always smooth and flawless. You will face difficulties, make mistakes, and learn from them as well. That’s why it is always a good idea to be prepared against all odds. Therefore, we give you 5 common innovation challenges that companies face and explain how to tackle them efficiently.
5 Innovation Challenges & How You Can Overcome Them
1. You Don’t Have an Innovation Strategy
Ready to bring about the next game-changing innovation of the decade? Great! But do you have a proper strategy in mind? How do you plan to move forward? What are the next steps? How much budget are you willing to allocate? By when do you expect to launch the new product or service? If you are going ahead with your projects without having clear answers to all these questions and are hoping things work out organically, you already know why your innovation initiatives are not leading to satisfactory results. Going with the flow is not the right approach when it comes to corporate innovation management. You must have an effective innovation strategy planned out that aligns with your company’s business goals in order to reach them.
2. There is a Lack of Collaboration
No innovation manager can bring home the ship of innovation alone, they need their crew to support them. Only an effective collaboration among the sailors ensures arrival at the safe haven. This applies even to your organization. Every employee brings something to the table. But it is of little use if their skills are just left on the table. Other members must acknowledge it, contribute their part, and take it forward. A good rapport among members of your team and other departments is what leads to successful corporate innovation. While internal collaboration is mandatory, do not limit yourself to that. Expand your horizon and try out open innovation — global industry leaders are already implementing corporate open innovation successfully.
Watch how collaboration leads to great ideas:
3. You Don’t Have Enough Customer Connection
You always need to keep in mind whom are you innovating for — your customers. So, the importance of a good customer connection cannot be emphasized enough. Before going forward with a project (even if it sounds fantastic), conduct ground research — do your customers really want the new product or service? What major pain points are we solving with it? If the answers to these questions sound convincing to you, carry on! But don’t shy away from adapting your plan on the go. Be flexible enough to adapt to your customers’ evolving demands and future trends.
4. You are not Measuring Innovation
Many companies struggle to improve their innovation process because they are often clueless about what they are lacking. This is why measuring innovation becomes so important. We can’t help but repeat Peter F. Drucker’s timeless quote here — “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” Measuring innovation has a lot of benefits including improved resource allocation, better planning of innovation strategy, and promoting a sense of teamwork. Bonus tip: check out our 4 innovation KPIs to track for increased success!
5. You are not Creating an Innovation Culture
All your efforts for successful corporate innovation make sense only when you encourage an innovation culture within your team. As mentioned earlier, every team member is important — they all make their unique contributions. So, as an innovation manager, you should always encourage everyone to share their ideas without any hesitation, no matter how trivial they sound. Remember, there are no stupid ideas or questions! Give your team space to experiment, allow them to fail and learn. You can’t win 100% of the time, and if you are, you are not doing it right.
Innovator, scientist, and educator Don Buckley explains how to build an innovation culture:
Let’s hear from you — do you face any of these challenges? How do you deal with them? Are there any other important innovation challenges that deserve to be on this list? Get in touch & let us know!