Innovation and disruption are hotly debated topics. Many claim to know the secret formula, but few actually deliver. There are standard practices that put you on the right path – like promoting a relaxed environment and fostering communication – but setting in place more specific processes will cause your mileage to vary.
However, innovation experts have nailed at least five truths about innovation that most of us get wrong, but at the same time they are supposedly easy to get right. This infographic won’t be enough to do the trick, but as said a few lines earlier, it’s general rules like these that put business leaders on the right path, while the rest gets figured out on the go. I won’t spoil your fun by repeating what the infographic conveys, but I would like to steal you one more minute to discuss one of the “truths” listed in there that I personally consider the soundest: Failure is inevitable.
I’ve been a working citizen for 12 years now. In my experience with several employers, I’ve noticed a clear pattern regarding first attempts: when something doesn’t yield results on the first try, it gets canned. Truth be told, it’s a natural impulse. But so is going after someone with an axe if they get on your nerves, yet we don’t actually do it. Similarly, leaders need to master the ability to accept failure (including the frustration that ensues), learn from it, and apply that lesson on the second attempt, even the third or the fourth if necessary. As long as the sought result is worth it (and money and time isn’t an issue), there is no reason not to tackle it again. If something doesn’t go quite as planned, it doesn’t mean the whole concept is a total failure. Sometimes, all it takes to fix a process is tweak one knob.
Full infographic below, courtesy of Jeff DeGraff, innovation professor at the Ross School of Business. Enjoy!