Of course there are companies with a great culture for innovation where new big ideas are embraced by everyone. However, most of you were probably victims of the ‘Not-Invented-Here’ phenomenon. Your colleagues rejected your new idea because of unwillingness to value the work of others or fear through a lack of understanding. Although many people say they are entrepreneurial, in practice they are adverse to risks. You probably got some idea-killer-questions fired at you like:
Innovation is a paradox for most of us. On the one hand, you are well aware that you have to take new roads before you reach the end of the present dead end street. On the other hand, it is risky. It takes a lot of time. And it takes a lot of resources. Research shows that only one out of seven innovation projects is successful. So saying yes to innovation is a step into the unknown.
…think outside the box and present inside the box.
As innovator you can fight this risk-adverse culture, as a kind of modern Don Quixote fighting windmills. Or you can accept it. Only when you accepted it, you can deal with it. Managing innovation has everything to do with managing expectations and reducing risks. I can give you five tips that might get you more support for innovative ideas.
I’ve made a practical format for what I call a mini new business case, which is a handy tool to create internal support. The purpose is to substantiate, in a businesslike and convincing manner, to what degree and for what reason your idea for a new product, service or business model is attractive and feasible for your organization. It consists of seven slides:
It all starts with accepting that it is quite common that your colleagues and managers fear innovation. So think outside the box and present inside the box. Be innovative and act conservative. That’s the way to get internal support for your big ideas.
I wish you successful innovation expeditions!
Gijs van Wulfen (1960; Dutch) is a keynote speaker, author and trainer on innovation and design thinking. He is the founder of the FORTH innovation method and LinkedIn Influencer. In his books, posts and speeches Gijs likes to make a complex theme like innovation simple. Check out gijsvanwulfen.com.