Innovation can breathe new life into any organization, but it’s not always a smooth ride when implementing an innovation program. There can be many obstacles along the way. Here are three big stumbling blocks that are encountered when enacting innovation programs, and an opportunity for a free innovation consultation!
1. Lack of planning. One of the first obstacles that many come across is a lack of planning, specifically when it comes to what happens after ideas are submitted to an innovation campaign. Not having a clear idea of what will happen after ideas are submitted, what the timeline will be, what kind of feedback can be expected, how many ideas will be implemented, how will winning ideas be determined, who will be facilitating ideation—both within the administration of the campaign and among the participants—can lead to frustration and gridlock. It can also lead your participants to feel unappreciated and less likely to want to be involved in future campaigns when they don’t have a clear idea of what will happen beyond the idea gathering phase. If you don’t have a clearly devised plan for the “during” and “after” of innovation, you’re going to have a very difficult time, because as we know, when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
2. Building a crowd. Innovation experts know that one of the hardest parts of crowdsourcing is finding, maintaining and engaging a crowd. The road to the finish line of an innovation campaign may be paved with good intentions, but if nobody shows up, it’s not making a difference. This obstacle can also intersect with a lack of planning and lead to almost certain failure.
3. Failure to communicate. This road block meets up with the previous two and can severely derail an innovation campaign. If you have not thought through your desired participation audience in the planning stages, how can you know where to reach out to them or how to communicate to them? Is email the most effective method of communication? Social media, physical mailings, cat memes? If you don’t communicate to the crowd that you’re hoping to cultivate, how will they know that you want them to participate?
So you’ve identified one of the three above often-mentioned obstacles to successful innovation, or possibly another obstacle, and now you’re looking to determine where you go from here.