Four myths of Innovation

After 16 years of helping companies innovate, we still encounter assumptions around innovation that plainly don’t work.

Here are some common innovation myths that exist in some large organizations:

  • Myth 1: Innovation cannot be operationalized

As fun as it can be, innovation is work. Innovation needs to be maintained over time and engrained within ongoing business operations. By building a process for discovery, ideation and implementation that connects to business objectives, an organization will see more continued benefits from its efforts as opposed to occasional, hard-to-predict breakthroughs.

  • Myth 2: Some lone worker will come up with the next iPod

Innovation is about give-and-take. Look at the original Apple team of Jobs and Wozniak: One was more focused on solving a problem and the other focused on commercial perspectives. The combination of these two different mindsets helped Apple to be successful. Wozniak was the engineer who created the product and Jobs found a way to sell it.

  • Myth 3: Creativity can’t be managed

Innovation is a measurable discipline, provided organizational leadership fully supports the mission. There needs to be an innovation champion that leads the way for innovation. This person bridges the gap between leadership and employees by guiding collaboration.

  • Myth 4: Innovation can be left to software

Innovation isn’t all about fancy new gadgets it’s more linked to how organizations operate. Software can facilitate innovation and promotes collaboration between different groups of people. Remember: technology and systems don’t innovate, people do!

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