It is easy to talk about failure as a good thing in innovation projects.
I have even talked about a simple way to reframe failure by thinking like a scientist.
However, what about situations when it is not only you that is being impacted by the failure of a project or experiment?
In today’s video above, I talk about the impact this has on why so many managers don’t want to take responsibility for innovation projects outside of their team.
Especially those who have innovation forced upon them by external teams, and are unsure how it will affect them and the metrics that they have historically been judged and measured against. If a manager is told that they need to change their processes or systems for Business As Usual, and they were not involved in the development of those new innovations, they will often be so hesitant with fear of what the impact of the innovations will be that they don’t get implemented at all, or at least not in the way to actually bring the full scale benefit to the company.
This is why managers hate being asked for permission to innovate, because by doing that they are essentially taking on responsibility if things go wrong as well.
And human nature shows us that we all have cognitive biases like Loss Aversion where we feel negative experiences much more powerfully than positive ones.
It is also why so often we see people just deferring to the most senior person’s suggestion, since they should know what is best (even if this also hinders new ideas).
So how do you fix this issue?
The people most affected by the innovation should be brought into the development process as early as possible, so that they can provide input and see how best to actually implement the idea once it is complete.
You also need support from leadership, to develop a culture where experiments aren’t punished in performance reviews.
What other ways can you think of to develop a culture where innovation actually gets implemented? Let me know in the comments below.
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