5 Common Innovation Roadblocks – And How to Get Around Them

Once upon a time, your company was innovative. In fact, you were the first to come out with the ultra-super-improved widgets that were all the rage … back in 2002. What happened? Somewhere, you veered off course. You handed in your innovative driver’s gloves for a comfy leather seat and smooth, luxury-class suspension. The company grew, and outgrew its ability (incentive?) to innovate.

How can you kick down the roadblocks to innovation management, and reclaim that dangerously speedy sportster known as innovation? Here are the most common obstacles, and some tips for getting around them.
1. We Just Don’t Have Any More Great Ideas

Drivers, start your engines. It’s time to innovate.

All out of fuel when it comes to ideation? There are several ways around that. You can use a pit stop to rotate some old, tired tires out of the innovation team and put some fresh rubber in there. Alternately, you can open up innovation company-wide or crowdsource, instead of locking it into a single, stale team. Give your innovators inspiration. Give them time to free think. The best ideas never come in the war room when all your teammates are waiting. Those tend to happen in the shower, in the car, or while you’re on your morning jog.

2. We Just Don’t Have a Solid Strategy for Innovation Management

Well, what are you waiting for? An innovation strategy isn’t rocket science. It should cover the basic who, what, and how of the innovation process. Who will be responsible for innovation (a specific team or all employees)? What will their goal be (build the best ultra-super-improved widget ever)? How will they go about meeting that goal (via innovation management software)?

3. We Just Don’t Have the Resources to be Innovative

Time, people power, innovation software, a development process … these are a few of the resources it takes to be innovative. There really is no way around these barriers except to allot and dedicate the resources necessary, and maintain innovation as a priority within the company. There are two ways to handle innovation management: innovate or be prepared to be out-innovated by the competition.

4. The Bureaucracy Around Here Makes It Impossible to Innovate

Has the stagnation of bureaucracy stifled your company’s ability to innovate? Two words: Change management.

Ah, this is where the rubber meets the road. Bureaucracy is to innovation what a strip of nails is to your high-performance tires. Changing the corporate culture is no trivial task. It requires smart and consistent change management. Change has to come from the top down, and has to be managed, just as your innovation must be managed. Not all companies are capable, but to be innovative, you must — and to be successful over the long run, you must innovate.

5. There Just Isn’t Room in the Budget for Innovation

Does your company have a budget for marketing? Sales? Customer service? Of course. Having an innovation management budget is just as essential. Without it, there will be no new products to market, nothing worth selling, and no customers to serve.

Do you need more incentive, advice, and insight into how to put your company back on the road to innovation success? We can help. Join the IdeaScale community today!

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