The Top Ten Reasons Your Innovation Efforts Aren’t Working

Many organizations mistakenly view innovation efforts as borne solely from creativity. Current thinking seems to be along the lines that if the right business conditions are met (such as “creative spaces”, slogans, and ceremonies), then creativity must surely flow like a river, resulting in an outpouring of innovation.

However, in reality, facilitating innovation in the workplace should be approached as adopting a culture of using the right tools and methods at the right times.  This allows an organization to drive innovation efforts throughout the company, measure methods and results, and continuously improve processes and products.

Illinois BIS senior consultant, Dr. Bruce Vojak, is co-author of “Serial Innovators: How Individuals Create and Deliver Breakthrough Innovations in Mature Firms” and a leading authority on innovation. He shares ten of the most common problems that he has seen with innovation initiatives in organizations. If you recognize any of these, the good news is that you’re not alone. The bad news is that you’re wasting resources by continuing as-is without making some critical adjustments.


Those responsible for innovation in your organization:

10. Haven’t spoken with an existing or potential customer in over three months.
9.  Aren’t allowed to speak with an existing or potential customer.
8.  Aren’t respectfully, yet assertively, pushing back on those who don’t allow them to speak with an existing or potential customer.


Your organization:

7.  Doesn’t employ some type of gated process to help manage your innovation efforts.
6.  Manages innovation like any other process.


Those responsible for innovation in your organization:

5.  Don’t advocate effectively for it internally.
4.  Don’t allocate sufficient resources to accomplish what you set out to do.
3.  Allow those responsible for other activities (manufacturing, marketing, sales) to emphasize internal hurdles to commercializing innovation greater than those that the external marketplace would present.


Your organization:

2.  Doesn’t hire people with the necessary multiple-deep and broad skill sets to innovate or manage innovation.


1.  Your organization is not financially successful in your attempts at innovation.

Illinois BIS has helped hundreds of companies thrive for 35 years, and we can help you discover the innovation potential of your company and create the strategy and culture that will help you transform your company and provide the leadership system to sustain it.  Contact BIS to learn more!

Bruce Vojak
Senior Consultant, Illinois BIS