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​Top 3 Failures Of Innovation And How Your Company Can Avoid Them

Innovation without preparation can yield disastrous results

11Feb

It's understandable to be eager and excited when fresh out of the gate, when your business has launched and you are watching the company you envisioned and brought from the ground up start to take off. However, it's important not to get carried away and begin to implement all sorts of ideas, whether they're yours or just sound fantastic when brought up by an associate or employee. There are three major failures of innovation that business owners tend to fall victim to, but thankfully they're easy to understand and avoid if you do your research.

The first failure of innovation in any business, whether you provide a service, run a restaurant or handle translations, is failure to prepare. Living in the present and adjusting your business to meet the demands of your market is always an important asset of a successful company, but overlooking the future and not contemplating the residual effects of a new innovation can lead to loss, discouragement and plenty of other negative repercussions. In order to successfully avoid this, begin to analyze your company, its market and all other relevant facets before making any major decisions. While an idea to bring in new customers might sound great now, how will this affect the company should the plan take off? Will there need to be budget adjustments made in order to accommodate the increased productivity and use of staff? Will the projected increased revenue be sustainable? Investing in a data visualization tool is one surefire way to make sure you have all your facts straight before you make any decisions. 

Another part of preparing for the future comes from creating an environment where individuals are encouraged to engage in continual learning activities. Companies that contribute to their employees education make a wise investment, not only in the future of their employee but, in the future of their company. With the growth of online courses, many opportunities for educational growth are now becoming available to the masses. Things that used to take formal education can now be done online. IT professionals seeking to expand their systems networking knowledge can now take introduction to networking classes online

The second failure of innovation common among companies is lack of research. This may seem like its the same as the first, but while the two are closely related, they are not at all identical. Gathering and analyzing current business data and relating it to the future isn't the same as researching an innovation itself and correlating its potential impact on a company. Learning to research thoroughly is one of the key skills stressed from an early age that we may not have always followed, but certainly comes into play later in life. Major innovations that spark your interest often seem so wonderful and fleshed out that they speak for themselves, but don't allow yourself to rush into something just because you can explain it well enough. Make sure you look into the innovation from a variety of angles, such as cost, impact on employees and customers, ease of implementation and possible retraction, etc. A data visualization tool can help with such matters, and this research will ensure that you don't make any decisions that ultimately don't function well and aren't easy to take back.

The third and final most common failure of innovation among companies is lack of follow-through. A lot of great campaign ideas and marketing plans are concocted and launch with success, but quickly fall to the backburner of day-to-day operations. While they may generate some new business, plans like this ultimately cost the company more than they should and tend to lead teams into a cycle of monotonous and repetitive designs. Innovations should be just that; innovative. If an idea is presented that you've heard before and already tried out, go back to the drawing board and take a different route. Even altering your approach a little, say from a consumer's perspective instead of an owner's, can make a huge difference overall. Look to what your audience is asking for or have enjoyed in the past and branch off from there, rather than simply recycling previous hits and marketing them as new.

These common mistakes are easy to make, but also easily avoidable when there is strong communication between departments and a strong project manager. Leaders among teams need to be equipped to pass, veto and alter suggestions while simultaneously keeping morale high and ensuring that behind the successful business, there is a dedicated and satisfied team of creative professionals who are working together to bring out the best of the company.

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