With Steve and Sally covering the Super Bowl XLIII commercials (below), that frees up Brainzooming to tackle another subject this week.
In late March, I’ll be in Miami at THe Conference on Marketing delivering a presentation on “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” in the business-to-business track. Previously, this presentation has been more of an exploration of the personal perspectives needed to be more innovative. In contrast, this version will focus on 10 common NO’s blocking business innovation, along with some approaches to circumvent them.
As the presentation takes final shape, we’ll run through the preliminary list of NO’s this week. I’d love to get your ideas:
- Have you run into these?
- How have you successfully addressed them?
- Are there other types of challenges you’ve come across in successful innovation?
Leave your comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each day this week, there will be two NO’s discussed. Let’s get started with the first two: no knack for innovation and no direction to pursue it.
1. NO Knack for Innovation
There simply isn’t an orientation toward innovation. It may be a mature industry, a company that’s had success with an intense focus, one that’s grown through M&A, or has been burned on previous formal innovation efforts. Whatever the reason, innovation doesn’t appear to be in the company’s DNA. What Are Some Things You Can Try?
- Challenge conventional wisdom that says innovation isn’t vital to the company.
- Target introducing small doses of unconventional strategy to begin.
- Introduce ways to look at the business differently.
- Try to borrow and adapt proven ideas from other industries or markets.
2. NO Direction
Without a top-level mandate, it’s tough for an innovation-oriented culture to flourish. Could be that innovation is outside the company’s vision, there’s no upper management champion, or a lack of alignment stands in the way of innovation efforts. What Are Some Things You Can Try?
- Create focus on the fundamental question – “What is the company trying to achieve?” – to figure out what matters and how innovation might fit.
- Simply articulate (or at least help do so) what the vision is for innovation.
- Consider starting small – don’t worry about big ideas; focus on enough ideas to sort through and find winners.
- Or consider starting big – even if you don’t get there, you’ll do more than you would have otherwise.
- Make sure to have someone challenge your grand plan.
We’ll cover numbers 3 and 4 tomorrow.