Innovation is key to a company's survival, regardless of the size or type of organization. But there are many myths and common misconceptions when it comes to how innovation is achieved. Many people think innovation is all about generating ideas, or ideation. While it's true that every innovation must start with an idea, it is actually the delivery and execution of processes that lead to sustained Innovation. In fact, when it comes to achieving a culture of innovation, execution may be the biggest challenge.
This Forbes article offers some food for thought regarding other common myths about innovation:
1. A great leader never fails at innovation. This is certainly a myth because without risk, there can be no innovation and that means failures will inevitably come along the way. Innovation is too much for one leader to tackle alone, so in turn leaders should practice a tolerance for failure and an enthusiasm for risk taking throughout the organization. Make failure a learning experience!
2. Real innovation happens bottoms-up. Innovation efforts require a formal commitment of time and resources. Innovation needs ownership -- a champion within the organization -- to convince others to step up to the plate. Ideally, the innovation champion should be an officer or executive/management member with respect, authority and the time and passion to drive the project forward.
3. Initiating innovation requires wholesale organizational change. Actually, innovation only requires targeted change and it can be effective to use dedicated teams to take on the task. With the proper training and coaching, designated team members can structure innovative efforts.
Now that we've debunked some innovation myths, you may have some questions surrounding how to get started.
- How do you set the policy?
- How do you build a quality team and an environment that fosters teamwork?
- How can you make organizational changes needed to facilitate your efforts?
The ten imperatives in Robert's Rules of Innovation serve as a guide for starting, nurturing and profiting from a culture of sustained innovation in the workplace. Robert's Rules of Innovation gives easy-to-implement and immediately useful ideas for setting and reaching goals like bringing "at least one new product per year to market."