Most of these we heard at least a few times. The others just made sense. The answers might be short, but they are honest. Hope you enjoy and watch out for part 2.
What do you do?
I’m an innovation management consultant.
Do you find innovation management interesting?
Most definitely yes!
What’s so interesting about it?
It’s like solving a huge puzzle.
Is innovation management easy?
Those pieces of the puzzle keep changing shapes.
What are the top 3 most difficult things?
Getting people to engage, measuring outcomes and battling with unrealistic expectations.
Can any organization set up an innovation practice?
Would you recommend trying it without expert help?
Only if you have time, money and patience in abundance.
Isn’t it easier to just organize occasional “innovation days”?
It is most certainly easier.
Shouldn’t the companies just do that then?
Should they also do “sales days” or “accounting days”?
What’s your point?
Innovation requires commitment and action. It can’t be an occasional thing.
Can you guarantee an ROI from innovation?
Does that mean that innovation practices sometimes fail?
More often than you’d think.
What do you do if you fail?
You can try again, but not indefinitely.
Then how do you at least reduce the risk of failure?
By making the right decisions.
Focusing on the right challenges, engaging the right people, getting the right resources and asking for expert help.
What’s the most common reason for failure?
In my experience, it’s focus on technology.
What do you mean?
People often start with the technology as a solution, but don’t really know what problem they are trying to solve.
Isn’t innovation a result of applying new technology?
Not always. Sometimes it’s applying existing technology and sometimes it’s even applying no technology at all.
What advice would you give to someone who’s just trying to set up an innovation practice?
Be ambitious, be prepared to fail often and don’t repeat the same mistake twice.