Innovation is crucial for businesses to grow, stay ahead of the competition, adapt to changing times, and make profits. However, many obstacles and misconceptions hinder innovation. As an innovation speaker, I have identified three common barriers to innovation that businesses must overcome.
1. The myth of BIG innovation:
Firstly, the myth of BIG innovation is prevalent, which is the idea that businesses must come up with the next big thing to be successful. This is not necessarily true. While disruptive ideas like Uber are admirable, they are rare, and most businesses don’t need them to succeed. Instead, businesses can achieve success through consistent small-scale innovations that improve their operations and increase profits. The key to innovation is to find effective and achievable ideas that work for your business.
But who said that innovation had to be about big radical disruption?
Many businesses and their leaders, like I once did, believe that success and sustainable growth relies on finding that one ‘Eureka’ idea. Truth is though business success isn’t about one single innovation but many small-scale innovations strung together. Business success comes by consistently finding innovative ways to improve everything you do. And those innovations don’t need to be big or radical, they simply need to work, be effective and make your business money.
I have interviewed hundreds of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders and the one thing that stands out is their ability and their passion for constant improvement. When speaking it’s something I’ve seen audiences at innovation conferences always keen to discuss.
To overcome this barrier to innovation we need to change our view of innovation from being radical and large-scale to be achievable, effective and every day.
2. The barrier of innovation Complexity:
Most people see innovation as too costly, too risky, too time-consuming and way too complex. Which is another challenge worth overcoming.
complexity is another obstacle to innovation. Many businesses view innovation as a costly, risky, and time-consuming process that requires innovation degrees, models, and systems. This perception discourages employees from participating in innovation efforts. However, innovation doesn’t have to be complicated. Businesses can encourage innovation by simplifying the process, asking employees to identify problems, come up with solutions, implement them, and evaluate their effectiveness.
Who said innovation has to be complicated?
3: Micromanagement and innovation don’t mix:
Micromanagement is a major barrier to innovation. Leaders who dictate every aspect of an employee’s work prevent them from developing their ideas and taking ownership of their work. To overcome this, businesses must build a culture that supports innovation and empowers employees to take initiative and responsibility. Leaders should encourage employees to experiment and learn from their mistakes, as this fosters a culture of innovation.
It’s one thing to give a directive of everyday, small-scale innovation to your people but it’s another thing entirely to let them take the initiative and the responsibility
Build an innovation culture that
As an innovation speaker, I see all the time the lights come on and the heads nod when these three big myths are debunked.
Business success isn’t a result of finding and successfully implementing a single ‘Eureka’ idea. It’s the culmination of many scale-scale innovations and of consistently finding innovative ways to improve everything you do. Business success is a ‘Game of Inches’.
A related article to this is ‘How do I foster an innovation culture in my team?‘