Has the innovation promise been fully delivered?
I have been working with leaders and managers for the past 10 years trying to help them and their teams become more innovative and grow their businesses.
There have been many successes.
But there is always a sneaking suspicion that the real promise of innovation has not been delivered.
According to all the research managers know that innovation is important and is nearly always ranked in their top 3 priorities.
There are always innovation barriers to be overcome:
– lack of time
– lack of resources
– resistance to change
– previous success
– silo mentality
But I suspect there is a deeper reason.
The real reason innovation doesn’t catch on.
The fear of failure.
In a environment that rewards achievement in an accelerated time frame the very idea that something might not work (like innovation) is just a bridge to far for most leaders.
Innovation by its very nature involves experimentation, trial and error and mostly failure.
As a result it is left to a few brave people to give innovation a go.
Ultimately these people (in my experience) become exhausted or move on as it is simply too hard.
We need a new approach.
One that is not so daunting or intimidating or scary for all people to engage with.
This is why I have developed small wins innovation.
Small is beautiful
Small wins innovation involves a different sort of language, a new process and tool kit.
The aim is to encourage more people, to be more innovative, more often.
It breaks down larger goals into smaller, bite size steps (e.g. losing weight for example starts with going for a walk today, then tomorrow etc)
Small wins innovation most of all provides a simpler, more practical and tangible way to realise the full potential of the creative and innovative potential of every employee.
Most of all, small wins innovation provides a way for every leader to embrace their deepest fear.
Because with this new approach the stakes are smaller, it is quicker, less expensive and even if the results are not quite what is expected it will lead to greater learning (i.e. a small win).
And create a culture where big wins innovation is more likely to succeed (hence the yin and yang of innovation).