I currently have an excavator tearing up the street outside my flat.

It is making a huge amount of noise.

In fact, as it breaks through the asphalt, sometimes I can see my monitor shaking on my desk.

I hate it.

But ironically, the company I am currently working with is one of the fastest growing construction equipment rental companies in the world.

We rent out excavators exactly like the one outside my door to construction companies, and I love it when they rent from us.

We get the revenue.

I love it!

Do you see the irony?

This is a classic example of “Not in my Backyard” (NIMBY) syndrome, where people want the benefits of something, but don’t want to suffer the consequences of it themselves.

A famous example is wind turbines, where people generally support the construction of wind turbines for cheaper, cleaner energy, but don’t want them located anywhere near their own homes.

How does this relate to innovation?

Twofold.

People often like the idea of the benefits of a new innovation when it is described to them, but most don’t want to undergo the risk of being the first to try it. The vast majority of the market will wait until an innovation has matured, developed, and has been proven by other people in the market who were more willing to take on the risk.

Secondly, ask yourself very openly if you or the people in your company are using, or would use, your own innovation yourselves.

We can all think of companies which rave about how amazing their own products are, and yet are not using them themselves. I previously worked at a consultancy which helped the world’s biggest companies implement SAP Enterprise Software, and yet they were not using it themselves.

And if anyone in your team is not using the system itself, use that as a way to find ways to innovate the innovation, and improve its perceived value.

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Creativity & Innovation expert: I help individuals and companies build their creativity and innovation capabilities, so you can develop the next breakthrough idea which customers love. Chief Editor of Ideatovalue.com and Founder / CEO of Improvides Innovation Consulting. Coach / Speaker / Author / TEDx Speaker / Voted as one of the most influential innovation bloggers.