Why people don’t innovate?

From the early stages of development human beings are indoctrinated that failure is intrinsically bad, and the opposite of success. The reality is that failure is the most common method of human learning!

A baby does not wake up one morning and decide to walk, and voilà, there it walks perfectly without wobbles or stumbles.

Each one of us had to fall countless times before we could walk.

Likewise, part of the innovation process is to fail, and most innovations do.

The difference between a successful innovator and ones who are not, is the willingness to try again, and again until it works!

We believe – more than anything else – the reason why organisations and people do not innovate is because they are afraid to fail.

Maybe they don’t say it, but they definitely feel that if failing is a condition for success, it’s ‘easier’ and ‘safer’ not to try at all!

Failure and organisations’ unhealthy obsession with avoiding making mistakes, more than anything else, stand in the way of doing the right thing, like making a decision or attempting to challenge the status quo.

The reality is that no organisation, team, individual is smart enough, or lucky enough to get the right idea the first time round.

Even if you were lucky enough to get the right idea out of the starting blocks, your luck will not enable you to make the good idea work with your first attempt!

A prerequisite for success – “get this” is to fail.

To change organisational culture to accept that your organisation (and your people) will get it wrong more often than not is VERY difficult! When it gets to new ideas, EVERYONE will fail by a factor of at least ten (most probably higher at first) for each ONE success!

You have to learn to “fail fast” and then learn from your mistakes.

We will show you how to keep going once you have failed, but in a smart, goal driven and progressive fashion until you get it right. We will also show you how to sustain innovations for as long as possible.

The second thing you need to GET, is that not all failure is good or beneficial failure in operational settings where work is well defined, understood and regimented is BAD, inexcusable and most probably as a result of dereliction of duty. Everyone knows that, and everyone will tell you that if you say you need to learn from failure.

Please note we are NOT talking of bad failure here but failure as part of the innovation process which is GOOD failure, as each time we fail we learn something that we did not know before!

You have to learn QUICKLY when is failure GOOD and when is Failure BAD!

Successful innovation is THE competitive advantage today!

In today’s fast-moving world where there are a dearth of options available to consumers, no organization can afford to be complacent. 

We MUST out-innovate our competition if we want to survive. It is literally a question of “innovate or die!” (we would say ADapT or Die).

So why is it now all of a sudden more important to innovate?

The question is actually fundamentally flawed – innovation has always been important, BUT, the world is changing,  and what is needed today is to innovate faster than ever before!

There are a number of drivers which necessitate organisations to increase the speed of innovation in order to remain competitive and relevant.

The main drivers are, people, money, politics and technology.

The most obvious driver for the need of rapid innovation in business is the possibilities available by making use of new technology. This, coupled with the availability of technology to virtually everyone, make innovation opportunities legion.

The fact that we live in a world where the level of education, social and political awareness, plus access to capital and technology have increased significantly in the last 30 years, has had a huge impact on the need and appetite for new and innovative things.

Many of these innovations do not necessarily favour incumbents anymore, and the barriers to entry for most innovations are significantly lower than twenty years ago!

Growing up with technology has also brought about a social and consciousness shift in new generations and these “new ways of thinking” and behaviours are often drivers for innovations not thought of 30 years ago.