Summaries of original articles

EXSUM: Top 10 innovation inhibitors and how to address them with software

This article describes software-based solutions which can help unlock innovation potential across the organisation and enable its continuous improvement.

This is an Executive Summary (“EXSUM”) of a full-length free-to-read article on Innovation unlocked: Top 10 innovation inhibitors and how to address them.

Providing fertile ground for continuous innovation is paramount to the long-term success of any organisation. Unfortunately, we often see organisations fall short of unlocking the full creative potential of their workforce due to significant innovation inhibitors.

During my years in the telecommunications industry, as well as now, in my current role as the lead for an EMEA-wide transformation programme, I have learned a lot about what makes the people tick and how to maximise that potential. To do so on a larger scale, it was important for me to answer one key question: How can I work smarter, rather than harder, on unlocking innovation potential (and adoption) across multiple countries and thousands of users? I saw technology as the key accelerator.

I have identified ten major innovation inhibiting factors organisations often fall a prey to.

Clicking on any of the innovation inhibitors below will take you to the full article to read about relevant software-based mitigating approaches and potential buy-in mechanisms.

I am mindful there are also a significant number of non-technological approaches to addressing these issues. As we can read about these at length on the internet, I focused on leveraging technology to help along the way.
  • Starved innovation – No matter what other mechanisms you have in place to promote innovation, if your employee culture is overworked and overstressed, it will fail at being innovative.
  • Centralised innovation – Excessive focus on certain individuals and groups in policy-making and decisive matters which form an empowered and exclusive community of owners and experts.
  • Siloed innovation – Teams independently innovate on improvements relevant to their own areas.
  • Short-sighted innovation – Companies focus on policies, which are efficient in only the short run.
  • Innovation dinosaurs – Sticking to habits, priorities, and approaches from the past, only because “they worked” then.
  • Penalised innovation – Companies using a rigid approach and not accepting/tolerating failures.
  • Innovation communism – No matter who is to be thanked for a successful idea, crediting the contributor is absent completely or distributed across the entire team/organisation equally.
  • Frustrated innovation – The organisation can easily pass the tipping point between risk-managing the innovation process and frustrating it as the number of processes and tools intended to risk-manage projects increases.
  • Lazy innovation – When the employees have not been incentivised enough to bring innovative solutions to problems to the table, the business will be left suffering.
  • Misguided innovation – Not seeing the forest from the tree, with all the projects missing the point in innovating on what truly matters and ensuring overarching significant long-term effects.

Unlocking innovation is about creating the right environment, providing enablers which will motivate the employee culture towards creativity and ensuring this remains so continuously.

One of the last things we will automate effectively is creativity. That makes us human. And that is at the root of innovation. So, while technology can unlock and steer this potential, ultimately, it will come down to people motivating people and people inspiring people -to do greater things.

By Aleksandar Đorđević

I am an automation professional and enthusiast, living and working in London.
Helping organisations use automation safely, effectively, and responsibly is what I enjoy doing. I promote responsibly using technology to rehumanise the future.