7 Innovation Myths that Kill Performance

Often, in business and in life, it is not what you don’t know that hurts you, but rather what you think you know that just isn’t so. Jonathan Vehar, deconstructs 7 myths about innovation that will unlock the growth potential in your company.

Myth #1:  “Organizational Innovation” makes sense. First off, the phrase is an oxymoron. An organization sets up a repeatable process whereas innovation is supposed to break out of that processes and improve it. Leaders must find the right mix by accepting the tensions between efficiency and effectiveness.

Myth #2: Innovation is just a product development or R&D thing. Innovation can apply to a number of entities (business models, networks, systems, processes, etc.), and therefore a number of people. No matter what your position, the opportunity, ability, and obligation for innovation lie before you.

Myth #3: You’ll know a winner when you see it. Do not be scared by odd new ideas. Look for value in every critical question, and that idea may become more attractive the more you look.

Myth #4:  Innovation can be de-risked. There can be no guarantees. We learn through failure. Take chances often and improve from the ones that don’t live up to expectations.

Myth #5: Innovation incentives work. When you reward innovation, you discourage those who don’t earn the reward. Try recognizing everyone working hard and make innovation a part of the job itself.

Myth #6: The Big Launch Matters. A large kick-off can lead to disillusionment and bitterness within companies as people get excited and nothing happens. It is better to innovate day-in and day-out.

Myth #7: I can’t do anything about innovation. Never wait for others to begin innovation; inspire them yourself. Take action, be courageous, and sell innovation through your organization.

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