What are the indicators that a business is having trouble innovating?

Struggling with innovation? Dive into common roadblocks like capturing quality ideas, progressing them, and achieving results. Uncover the power of clear goals, validation, and understanding your audience to supercharge your innovation efforts. Let's innovate smarter, not harder!

Innovation Management
Carlos Mendes
Carlos Mendes
Co-Founder @ InnovationCast

What are the indicators that a business is having trouble innovating?

Innovation is hard. It's a multifaceted operation that spans departments, networks and functions. The commitment and coordination required to innovate effectively are enough to bring even the most adept managers to their knees, and with the importance of innovation ever-mounting, this pressure is only getting worse.

While some organizations fail to innovate entirely, others do their best but experience meagre results. So what's the problem? Why isn't your innovation strategy performing as well as you hoped? With all its moving parts, understanding what's going wrong with an innovation strategy can be difficult.

In this article, we'll explore some of the core indicators that suggest a business is having trouble innovating and what can be done to resolve these issues.

How do you know if you're having trouble innovating?

For your innovation strategy to be successful, you must identify all possible avenues for innovation within your organization and devise a process to bring them to life as quickly as possible. The innovation process typically consists of five core activities: Discover, Capture, Select, Incubate and Accelerate.

It helps to categorize your activities when trying to identify what's plaguing your innovation strategy because it's likely that your problem (or problems) exist within one of these stages. The more you can optimize each of these activities the more likely you are to develop an innovation strategy that produces results.

Without further ado, let's take a look at the most common indicators that your business is having trouble innovating.

1. You're struggling to capture good ideas

Most organizations don't usually have issues motivating people to come forward with ideas. 20% of your workforce probably have entrepreneurship running through their veins, so you're more likely to struggle to keep a lid on suggestions than you are finding them.

Note: If you're having trouble sourcing ideas, you might want to launch an investigation into what's hindering the idea-capturing process. Ideas can come from a great variety of sources including customers, partners and employees, so widening your innovation strategy to a bigger network can help you tap into an extended community with unique ideas.

But the idea-capturing process isn't just about gathering as many ideas as possible. Doing so only causes your innovation strategy to collapse under the weight of excessive input. The problem is usually that the ideas being put forward don't resonate with the core issues your business is currently facing. If the ideas you're receiving don't relate to the company's core challenges, they're unlikely to be valued by managers.

So what can be done to capitalize on the creativity of your ideation network and is there a way to harness this enthusiasm to gather more relevant ideas?

The answer lies in spending more time and energy communicating your primary goals and objectives before launching an innovation program. Without clearly defining the organization's core issues, you run the risk of gathering ideas that don't properly address the challenges at hand.

With clear objectives in mind, your sources can start channeling their innovative energy towards a key goal. When your innovation network shares the same goals, you unlock the true power of collaborative thinking, and it becomes easier to address specific issues with relevant ideas.

Innovation management software helps you formulate specific targets and manage suggestions. By compiling your ideation efforts into a single interface, you eliminate the chance of receiving multiple amounts of the same ideas and enable contributors to suggest improvements.

Once you've outlined your key challenges and collected relevant ideas, you can move toward the next phases of innovation.

2. You're struggling to move forward with promising ideas

Companies don't usually struggle to gather ideas. It's the follow-up activities that cause problems. The biggest mistake organizations make is failing to devise processes that bring the ideas they've gathered to fruition.

If your organization does a great job of gathering ideas but fails to bring them to life, you're probably experiencing issues with testing and validation.

Validation processes are critical for verifying the potential of an idea. Without a series of follow-up activities, your ideas will quickly lose momentum and become forgotten. Testing and validation are critical for gaining confidence in the ideas you've gathered. By gathering qualifiable and quantifiable data about an idea, you're able to justify your investments based on facts rather than assumptions and popularity.

Sure, you can never know for certain whether an ambitious idea will be successful, but it's vital to do everything you can to select the ideas with the most potential. By doing so, you reduce your chances of investing in fruitless endeavors, saving you valuable time, money and resources.

3. Your innovation efforts aren't producing results

If you're succeeding in turning ideas into new products, services, business models and ways of working but experiencing no impact, added value, or changes to your bottom or top line, you're probably investing in ideas that nobody cares about.

This is a major problem.

Actually, it's the biggest mistake organizations can make—investing large sums of money, time and effort into a seemingly promising idea to no avail. There are numerous reasons why issues like these can occur, but some include:

  • Failing to understand the needs, wants and aspirations of your customers

  • Using the same validation and testing process for all types of ideas

  • Gathering ideas from a narrow range of sources

  • Failing to communicate the key issues faced by your organization

To implement ideas that yield tangible results, your innovation strategy needs to be agile and comprehensive. This means you should be exploring all possible avenues for innovation throughout your entire organization and devising multiple processes to support ideas on their road to realization.

How to become an industry leader with innovation management software

Many have trouble innovating because it demands a significant amount of work, planning and execution to implement a strategy that targets numerous areas of your business simultaneously.

Coordinating these activities with innovation management software is the only way to ensure you're driving the full potential of your innovation strategy.

InnovationCast is the market-leading innovation management software for planning, coordinating and managing your innovation activities on a large scale. With our custom approach, you can devise tailor-made processes designed to bring great ideas to life faster than your competitors.

If you want to learn more about how InnovationCast can accelerate your innovation efforts, get in touch to schedule a demo today.