One of the top skills businesses are requiring these days from prospective employees is the ability to think “innovatively”. What many organizations are getting wrong, however, is the true meaning behind innovation. Innovation is not just some buzzword you should be putting up on job postings or the company mission statement. Innovation is for real – and it’s not just something the R&D department does while designing new products.
Here are eight innovation myths that are probably costing your organization “real” innovation.
1) Innovation just happens: innovation doesn’t just poof up out of nowhere. It can, but there are other ways organizations can advocate innovation in a deliberate and calculated manner.
2) Innovation and creativity are the same thing: If that were the case, you would need to hire “creative thinkers” only. However, creativity and innovation is not the same thing. Employees who may not necessarily be “creative thinkers” are just as capable of coming up with ways to improve or add value, particularly if they’ve been around long enough.
3) Innovation is all about coming up with new products/services: No, it’s not just an R&D thing where new products are designed. Innovation can exist in any area of the business including the supply chain, the network, the processes, etc. For example, Dell’s Direct Model was an innovative process that reduced many unnecessary and costly steps.
4) Good Innovative Ideas Make Sense: Some ideas that seem great at first but may not be as practical as you thought after you’ve looked at it from a critical standpoint. On the other hand, some great ideas seem completely absurd at first, but after in depth research you may discover the value of it. Always give innovative ideas a second and third look before you label it “doable” or “lame”.
5) You hire a team to innovate: There may be a particular “department” or “team” who innovates. However this doesn’t mean that only they can innovate. Anyone can innovate, regardless of what they do and where in the organization they work. Everyone should be looking for new ways to solve old problems. You can offer dissertation writing help online.
6) Innovation has to do with advanced technology: Waiting for advanced technology to enable “innovation” is just innovation delayed. Innovation is about adding more value to the existing business and coming up with new ways to solve problems. It has nothing to do with advanced technology (not always).
7) The best kind of innovation doesn’t involve risk: Perhaps, I would believe it if it was the other way around. However, there’s no truth the statement at all. Risk is a part of innovation. You could run into problems and you could be risking a great deal to try something new. If this is something new you’re trying out for the first time in your organization—and if its innovation then it probably is—then there’s no way to accurately measure the success or failure of it until its fully implemented.
8) Innovation is always good: Some of the best innovations have brought about the worst consequences. A car was a great innovation, but it also costs millions of lives every year. Nuclear power can be great source of energy, but it can also annihilate an entire country. The internet has provided easy access to information, but it also gave root to new problems such as cyber theft, cyber bullying, and access to explicit content. There are always positives and negatives of innovation, and sometimes they’re hard to predict.
Everyone has that needed spark to create, invent, or solve. Prevent the above myths from circulating in your organization if you want to harbor an innovation-friendly organization.
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Rochelle Ceira is a marketing consultant at a digital marketing firm that specializes in monitoring social trends and penetrating lead funnels. When not working, she loves to blog on innovation in digital marketing, trend shifting analysis, etc.