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Clear the Path for their success.

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by Braintrust2023 | October 19, 2023 | Categories: General,

By Helder Sebastiao

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞:      We’ve got highly motivated, knowledgeable, and creative people on our innovation teams, but we are all frustrated at our inability to produce big, breakthrough innovations.

𝐒𝐨𝐥𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧:        Clear a path for their success.

Companies that are the most successful at innovation understand the symbiotic relationship between having the right team AND the right environment and culture that puts them in a position to grow and succeed. That requires alignment between innovation objectives, the resources dedicated to achieving those objectives, the processes and metrics used, and the overall company culture. Here are a few areas where misalignment can be particularly damaging.

1. Process: the tyranny of too many layers and hurdles

We ask teams to take initiative and be creative and push boundaries, but certain company policies and traditional approval layers can slow down and inhibit those behaviors. Take a look at how and where you can loosen the reins for teams.

2. Metrics: the danger of one size fits all standards

Projects can get killed early due to projections that suggest the market potential is insufficient, or because the market may not currently be well defined. Companies should apply metrics and make resource commitment decisions that are tied to the stage of development of an idea / market. For example, at the earliest stages metrics should be focused on relatively quick and small experiments testing product-market fit, not ROI.

3. Culture: the corrosive conflict between desired outcomes and what actually gets rewarded (or not punished)

Culture is a self-reinforcing mechanism that reflects the collective values of the people in the company and what the leadership of the company values most. Some of the most damaging misalignments occur when the company’s existing culture is in conflict with innovation objectives. The most obvious example is a culture where “failure” is not tolerated, which creates a strong disincentive for experimentation essential to innovation. However, perhaps even more prevalent and harmful are performance evaluation and reward systems that focus on relatively short-term objectives and easy to quantify outcomes. This creates an unintended bias to focus on what can produce relatively quick results. Similar to the prior point about metrics, innovation teams need to be evaluated and rewarded on a different set of objectives and outcomes.

If your company may be exhibiting any of these symptoms, I encourage you to examine the overall degree of alignment in your innovation environment. We can help (Let’s talk).

#entrepreneurship #startups #productivity #productmanagement #mobileapplications #innovationexecutive #innovation #lanesofperspectives #lodestoneinnovation

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