In many cases the main barriers to innovation are internal to the organization and person. How can we deal with them? Training, methodology and rewards.
Most people are reluctant to change, especially when they have found a certain stability in their lives. Change brings with it uncertainty and risk that sometimes, due to the difficulty of estimating it correctly, leads to paralysis and inaction. What works is better left untouched. This factor is accentuated with age, probably due to negative past experiences that condition us.
This thinking clearly applies to organizations that have managed to carve out a niche for themselves in the market and have found stability. It is reflected both in the overall strategy of the company (increased risk aversion) and at a personal level in its managers (maintaining their position at all costs).
It is therefore not surprising that the instinctive reaction to any innovative proposal is initially one of suspicion and refusal. Any change that forces us out of our comfort zone will be viewed with distrust.
Not only with distrust, but any idea will most likely be sabotaged even before it has been really rigorously analyzed.
How can we combat this situation?
If the organization has fallen into this trap, it will not be easy to reverse the situation. However, albeit in a simplified way, we propose three key ideas to start unlocking innovation within the organization:
- Train key employees to change their mindset and turn them into innovation champions.
We firmly believe that continuous training is a fundamental pillar for the development of any company. Innovation training is very specific and should serve two purposes:
- Raise awareness of the imperative need to innovate within the global context of competitiveness in which we find ourselves.
- To provide the basic tools to be able to promote creativity, to correctly evaluate ideas and to quickly test the viability of ideas with the market.
- **To have a clear methodology to develop innovation and evaluate ideas.
It is essential to have a documented and rigorous innovation program. We cannot easily fall into the trap of evaluating an idea based on our intuition or experience. We must have the tools to generate ideas, filter them, develop projects and launch them to the market. Although it should not be the only factor to take into account in innovation, it is clear that organizations are looking for profitable innovation. This requires a rigorous process to correctly evaluate the results and measure innovation.
- **Establish clear rewards for innovation.
If the company wants to innovate, it must necessarily reward the promoters of innovative ideas and changes in the organization. The rewards can be financial, but not only and not necessarily. In any case, they must be clear, known and open to the whole organization.