5 Common Mistakes That Can Destroy Business Innovation and How to Avoid Them

Business Innovation

“When looking to innovate—fail forward. Innovation can be a chaotic process, embrace it and learn from your failures.”—Luke Wester

In today’s rapidly evolving and highly competitive business world, you will have to constantly innovate and keep coming up with new ideas to ensure your business thrives. Companies who find it tough to innovate slowly become irrelevant and become part of history. On the contrary, companies that continue to innovate stays ahead of the curve.

If you want your business to embrace innovation, you will have to develop a culture of innovation in your organization. Since most businesses focus on sales numbers and revenue, they tend to think along those lines. With this restrictive mindset, they fail to identify innovation opportunities and end up making mistakes that hamper the development of innovation culture in your organization.

In this article, you will learn about five mistakes that can kill business innovation.

5 Mistakes That Kills Business Innovation

Here are five mistakes that kill business innovation

  1. Dropping ideas before exploring them
  2. Discouraging Experimentation
  3. Communication Barrier
  4. Focusing on individual instead of a team
  5. Complex hierarchy and approval process

1. Dropping Ideas Before Exploring Them

Your boss asks you and your team members to share some unique ideas on how to grow their business and improve the business processes. This gets you and your team excited. Unfortunately, all your excitement evaporates into thin air when you see your co-worker’s ideas get turned down. The boss gives your co-worker a vague answer that his idea did not seem to make sense. This will prevent other team members from sharing their ideas.

Instead of rejecting ideas, it is better to discuss and think about them. Let’s say you have dropped their idea because it is expensive to implement. You should ask the resource, who has pitched the idea, about how the organization can implement within the budget constraints. Listen to them as they might have a suggestion that will enable you to execute that idea on a shoestring budget. More importantly, it will send a clear message to others that you are not only open to ideas but ready to discuss and seriously consider it.

business innovation

Some of the best examples of companies that struggle to innovate because of ditching ideas before exploring them are:

  • Nokia
  • Blackberry
  • Yahoo
  • Macy’s
  • Blockbuster

All of them made this mistake and paid a hefty price for it.

2. Discouraging Experimentation

If you want to foster innovation in your organization then you will have to encourage your employees to experiment. They will surely make a few missteps but will certainly learn a lot from these failures. This will develop new skills and help them learn new things that they have not learned before.

Some companies even give their employees the liberty to set aside a couple of hours to work on projects that excite them. 3M company is the best example in this regard. They allow their employees to set aside 15% of their time to work on pet projects. This has led to the creation of Post-It, which has now become a multi-billion-dollar product line.

3. Communication Barrier

There is nothing worse for a manager to see their employees not communicating with each other despite sitting in the same room. There can be various reasons for it. It could be due to cultural or personality differences, professional jealousy or something else. Whatever the reason may be, the manager needs to remove all the rifts as they t can lead to conflicts at the workplace and destroy your team cohesion.

business innovation

Convey your message clearly and use the tone and language that your employees easily understand. You can also use communication and collaboration tools. Smart task management software such as TaskQue has some handy communication and collaboration features that not only help you share, discuss and brainstorm ideas but also let you collaborate on projects and get feedback.

4. Focusing on Individuals Instead of a Team

If your organization revolves around individuals instead of teams, the chances of innovation are grim. As Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprung up.” That is why it is important to discourage silos and focus on building a team especially if innovation is your priority. Team building activities can play an important role in enhancing your productivity, improve motivation and foster creativity. More importantly, it strengthens the bond between team members, improves the flow of ideas and enhances team collaboration.

5. Complex Hierarchy and Approval Process

Many innovative ideas die a slow death because of complex organizational hierarchy or a complicated approval process. If you want innovative ideas to see the light of the day, then it is critical that you either simplify your organizational hierarchy or remove unnecessary steps involved in the approval process. Once you remove these two barriers, you will see more ideas convert into reality, which would accelerate the innovation at your organization.

Which of these mistakes have you ever made which has killed your business innovation? Let us know in the comments section below.