Why are so many organizations struggling to become more innovative? According to Joyce Wycoff, writing in the Heads Up on Organizational Innovation weblog, the problem may be a lack of important, meaningful, energizing challenges that will motivate employees and energize their thinking in profitable new directions.
“Most of the energy expended in the innovation field focuses on generating, evaluating and implementing new ideas. What if we spent more time finding those really important challenges that excite people and would truly make a difference if we found an answer for them? We often hear executives say they have too many ideas and too many answers already. What we now believe they’re saying is that they don’t know which questions, which challenges, if successfully addressed, would create exceptional new value – for customers, the organization and the world. They are basically challenge-challenged.”
Joyce also cites several real-world examples where meaningful challenges have helped to drive success. If you’re struggling to get an innovation initiative off the ground in your organization, I highly recommend that you read this thoughtful write-up.