Innovation is the future of any organization. It is, however, more than hard work. Let's be realistic ...

Let's be realistic ...Less than 30% of change programs are successful. Factors responsible for failure of change (including innovation) initiatives are for instance management behavior which is not supportive, the high degree of employee resistance, and the lack of required resources. 

How can we improve our success rate?

When we are aware of the following elements from the start of our innovation initiatives, we might have a chance to be among the 30% successful change programs:

  1. Innovation needs to be done when it goes well with the business: when it goes badly with the business, it is really too late to have time, money, people and other resources available for innovation initiatives. Especially when we know that in any innovation project, there is a chance that this initiative will not reach the finish line. On the other hand, in a business where it is going well, there is not enough pressure to innovate drastically. It ripples further based on the current successes and it makes little sense to innovate and change thoroughly. Therefore ... put always pressure on innovation projects by reducing available time and resources. 
  2. Each innovation group contains intrinsically more or less innovation potential:  'super designers' no longer exist. Innovation happens in team. The team potential is determined by the presence of participants with different mental models (how they look differently at the world) and different backgrounds (academic , jobs, community), the willingness to work in a team and to learn collectively (also under pressure and when it goes badly). Preferably, the team may not only consists of creative people. Even more conservative people are needed in the team. Finally, they should be able to decide autonomously, how they will work together (no pre-assigned processes).
  3. Welcome to the war zone: it is known that many successful changes and innovations have come only after a lot of struggle and after reaching the bottom. So if you realize that on the road to success, you will have to convince management and employees more than once, you will have to deal with conflicts in the innovation team which will need to be resolved, innovation and change will best be done with limited resources and by working under time constraints, that there will be a chance that even the current business model will be thoroughly shaken, and that indeed the company may have to opt for a comprehensive transformation rather than a small change,'re on the winning side. It is perhaps best compared with the mentality, entrepreneurship and the growing pains of a start up or scale up.