Flaws are Failure Laws. Rules to follow for the failure of a system. Every business context and organization has a set of uncontested rules. Those working mostly well for the running business but creating failure drivers for innovation. Finding and fixing them in your business context creates a winning platform. A compilation is here for reference.
Flaws of Innovation
- Rejecting ideas that at first glance appear to be small. Going after only big-bets.
- Assuming that only new products count – not new services or improved processes
- Multiple groups/divisions launching similar solutions at once that confuse customers and increase internal complexity.
- Applying the same tight planning, budgeting and controls like existing business operations.
- Applying the same performance metrics and reward system like existing business operations.
- Isolating and Insulating innovative pursuits and established enterprises from each other. Creating new and rigid silos!
- Creating and differentially treating two classes of corporate citizens – those who have all the fun (innovators/ intrapreneurs) and those who slog and make the money (steady-state-business-managers)
- Allowing innovators/ intrapreneurs to be idea-hoppers than becoming new-venture-builders.
- Assuming that innovation teams should be led by the best technical people than intrapreneurs
- Assuming that all intrapreneurs learn-on-the-job than providing a head-start through coaching/mentoring in a structured way. Pushing people to their next level of incompetence than preparing them for the job of an intrapreneur.
Remedies for these flaws
- The portfolio approach to innovation – a mixture of big-bets and bouquet of mid-range ideas while supporting small and continuous improvement
- Encouraging: product, process, technology, and business-model-innovations with growth as a focus
- Controlled experiments supported by the unified Go-to-market approach
- Flexibility in planning, execution and control systems with Time and money boxing method.
- Innovation KPIs and performance measurements
- Continuous interaction and interchange of resources between existing and new initiatives.
- The democratic process of operations and periodic rotation of people between new and existing business.
- Aligning intrapreneurs with corporate objectives of creating new opportunities for growth and making accountable for incubation and development. Defining clear exit and transition methods and governance mechanisms.
- Getting the best intrapreneur to run/lead the pursuit, supported by a competent team.
- Training, Coaching/ Mentoring intrapreneurs to pursue building-new-venture as a career.
Finding and fixing flaws in your system that hinders innovation is an essential first step toward building an entrepreneurial culture.