The Innovative Path From Point A To Point B Is Not Straight.

5 02 2013

Your innovation will drive revenue and profit to your company.  Over the course of time, your results exceed expectations.  Well done, you rock!  But was the journey smooth?  Did you grow consistently each year, month, week, day or hour?  Of course not. The results of a successful implementation are not a straight line with ruler-like precision.  Any similar theory on  growth is just that…a theory.  There will be setbacks along the way, many of them and for a myriad of reasons.  So be prepared.

Obstacles

Obstacles of people:

It is difficult to align the priorities of everyone affected by the initiative.  If you are using your existing team, it is likely that they will give you some time for the program to work.  But never take their cooperativeness for granted.  Understanding the motivation of your team helps to uncover any disconnect between your desires and the desires of your team.  Most employees desire consistency, stability and financial reward.   If your new endeavor will negatively affect your team in any of the aforementioned areas, do not expect them to remain interested in implementing your innovation for very long.

This issue has caused me a great deal of stress along the way.  Essentially, for my team, forging new ground with innovations has destroyed consistency, eliminated stability and lacked enough financial reward to create a truly engaged and motivated team.  The tension and confusion were not good for morale or for the pending success of my fantastic innovation.

Valley of despair:

A new process is always challenging to implement.  There is a learning curve that results in the typical frustration referred to as the “valley of despair”.  While it is nearly inevitable that folks will end up there, it is not necessary for them to remain there for a long time.  With proper preparation, planning, training, effective rewards and attention to detail, they can coast through the valley of despair faster and more smoothly than ever expected.

Obstacles of process:

When innovations are first implemented, there is often excitement surrounding its success.  People go the extra mile to make it work, even if it takes them away from their daily tasks and/or if the process is inefficient.  The success that follows is an innovator’s dream.  Everyone wants more.  Unfortunately, the rapid growth uncovers all inefficiencies in the process and magnifies them exponentially.

Then comes the tsunami of success.  When a process is built on a weak foundation and then is coupled with the pressure to produce, the flood of expectations roll over the entire organization.  Cross-departmental issues are experienced from operations, sales, HR, recruiting, training, technology and other support areas.  Each area may need a new process to support the innovation.  It is difficult work to address this obstacle and correct the processes.  However, this must be done before moving forward.

There certainly is a roller coaster of emotions throughout the implementation process of new and powerful innovations.  And there is always a gap between an innovators vision and the resulting reality.  The vast majority of projects result in a process that does not look exactly like the original plan.  And the timeline to reach one’s goal seems to be consistently longer than anticipated.  However, Eye-Cubed leaders, teams and companies understand this challenge and embrace the process of moving from theory to practice, from point A to point B.

point-a-to-point-b

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One response

5 02 2013
markkolier

Good post David. Sometimes the greatest innovation of all is finding the optimal method for communicating your innovation to your internal team.

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