Why Innovation Fails

This great article on Forbes details the many ways innovation inside of a mature organization can fail. Some of the key points:

  1. Ideation is easy... and not enough: It is relatively easy to hold events (like hackathons). They are fun, engaging, and generate a lot of ideas. But... it is just step one of the journey. Almost all organizations fails to do steps 2+ right, which leads to employee frustration and failure to develop the ideas. Doh!
  2. The model needs to work: Your idea needs a scalable, economically sustainable business model. With, you know... customer who want to pay you more than it costs to make & deliver it :). People often assume that if they have a great idea, making it into a great business is fairly straightforward. Alas, it is not so!

Mature organizations are usually filled with people who are great at executing a proven model. They usually do not have expertise in how to generate, vet, and validate new business opportunities. These are the very issues we help mature organizations work through at the Lean Innovation Institute.

Hat tip to Ric Pratt.