Why That New Innovation Effort May Not Be Worth It

Nowadays, almost every company claims to be innovative, if only to attract top talent, please investors, and strengthen its brand. Some companies are innovative, but many are not. If you are going to lead or be a part of a new initiative, how can you tell if your organization is really committed to supporting that effort? Is the innovation effort only inducing fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the market, or is the company really walking the talk? Or is this just another aspirational flavor of the month? Not understanding the difference could derail your career.

Innovation readiness depends on two key factors: motivation and competence. Assessing just these two factors can yield critical insights for your situation. Here are some simple guidelines to put your organization or that new initiative to the test.

Understanding the leader’s motivation is the critical first step. Is she motivated extrinsically through incentives, or is she intrinsically passionate and committed to the project? The odds of success are better for the latter.

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