3 Ways To Solve Common Innovation Inefficiencies

It’s one thing to come up with smart business ideas. It’s another thing to get it smoothly from planning to execution.

The road to innovation is paved with many bends, potholes, and one-way streets. While some are inevitable and unexpected – like a global pandemic – others can be expected. This means that they can be frustrated with a little strategic thinking.

If you’re tired of getting halfway to your innovation goal, try these strategies. They will help you overcome shortcomings and avoid common obstacles.

1. Encourage innovations that are not necessarily tangible products.

When people hear the word “innovation,” they often think of a tangible component such as a new breed of electric vehicle. However, innovations can be new ideas or different systems as well. When you’re brainstorming with your employees, remind them to see innovation of this kind from a multi-angle perspective.

For example, FIS decided to incorporate CSR into every new solution the company released. They created a digital banking platform, Greenwood, specifically to serve black and Latino individuals and business owners. And during the height of the pandemic, they helped more than 150,000 small businesses affected by Covid obtain $13.9 billion in loans.

minimum? Freeing your team of any misconceptions they have about innovations can open the door to improved creativity.

2. Make sure the innovation you are investing in solves a real problem.

Not all innovations are the same. Some sound flashy when you’re sitting around a brainstorming table but you don’t have a real world weight. The key is to make sure you evaluate all of your innovations against reality before moving forward. Otherwise, you may end up spending time and money on an innovation that no one cares about.

When Malbec wanted to remake the world of contracts, the company started with some of the biggest problems with legal agreements. These included understanding the risks behind legal confusion. Accordingly, Malbek’s creators considered how to leverage AI to quickly screen contracts to proactively avoid future compliance issues. The result was a preventative product that identifies risk factors before the parties sign contracts.

On a humorous note, would-be inventor Mattie Benedetto built his brand around building innovative items that serve no purpose. While his Instagram deserves a few chuckles, it remains a good reminder that you have to be careful not to end up marketing an innovation that’s more of a head scratcher than anything else.

3. Being able to bid farewell to the first iteration of innovation.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of an innovative idea or product. Just don’t let this torrent of emotions get in the way of making tough decisions. Not many innovators can give up on the first iteration of an idea. This leaves them burning through the money — and burning out when they realize they’ve been chasing the wrong dream the whole time.

Most innovations will go through several life cycles. A great article from Los Angeles Magazine identifies the origins of a few of the most famous societal inventions. Among them is Mickey Mouse. Check out the first cartoons of what will one day become a universally loved character. It bears the seeds of a modern mickey but it is by no means the same.

Admitting that innovation doesn’t work can be difficult for everyone, especially if you’ve devoted a lot of personal time to it. However, knowing when to completely end it or overhaul it is a valuable skill that will help keep the innovation cycle flowing.

Are you ready to start working with some innovative thinking? First, remove all known blockers. This way, you and your colleagues will be able to move quickly and make progress.

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