A lot of organization now equate innovation in the same breath as change management. When the organization sets it this way, there’s a lot of pressure to navigate the uncertainties despite knowing where to go. It is like a detour to pick up laundry while on your way to work.
Picking up laundry is an important task (just like innovation), but doing it on your way to work or in a hurry may not be the best idea. So if your innovation is set up this way, you are taking the way with many roadblocks, which some you already know.
Again, despite its importance, innovation often encounters roadblocks in the workplace. Let’s see the popular ones:
- Lack of a Safe Space for Idea Generation: Employees may hesitate to voice their ideas due to fear of judgment or failure. This stifles creativity and innovation in a way that is unprecedented. The younger employees may directly show you that they are displeased, the senior ones however will quietly despise innovation.
- Rigid Hierarchies: Hierarchical structures can limit the flow of ideas and stifle creative thinking. Design thinking, with its emphasis on collaboration and open communication, can help mitigate this issue. Leaders that never understand creativity and innovation will be able to nurture it to others. How could someone pass on something that they don’t have?
- Insufficient Understanding of Customer Needs: Without a deep understanding of customer needs, innovation can become directionless. Design thinking addresses this by making empathy and user understanding its core principles. When a lot of innovation premise is trying to understand customers problem, unwilling to listen to problems is a gateway to post-launch firefighting.
- Resistance to Change: Change can be unsettling, and organizations may cling to “this is how we’ve always done it” mentality. This resistance hinders innovation. Design thinking encourages a culture of experimentation and learning from failure, promoting change and innovation.
I get it, you may find this “ahh I heard this before”. Yes, typically these are the popular ones that have been oft repeated in a lot of places. Wouldn’t you want to make a detour or change? Expecting a different results from common routine may frustrate you again one more time.
In conclusion, approaching innovation with tools such as design thinking is an invaluable experiment in today’s innovation-driven landscape. It fosters creativity, promotes collaboration, and ensures a user-centric approach – all crucial elements for success in the modern workplace.
Brickbats? Ping me here.