Every futurist company has an innovation lab now. From Walmart, Facebook, and Lockheed Martin to healthcare services and retailers, everyone wants to get a slice of innovative success. In this article at Harvard Business Review, Simone Bhan Ahuja shares 3 innovation lab mistakes that you must avoid overcoming failure.
Getting Ahead of Ideation Failures
The reason innovation labs are at vogue now is because they provide a safe environment to fail. This is a key ingredient to succeed but which no company would allow for live projects. Unfortunately, as per numbers, your innovation lab has a 90 percent chance of failing. Why so? Find out the 3 innovation lab mistakes to overcome failure:
Lack of Alignment with Company Objectives: Xerox PARC and Bell Labs might want their innovation lab to be completely isolated from their core business strategy. However, the majority of these labs have no idea if they need to fulfill the company goals or create a new path. Though the CIOs and IT leaders inaugurate, these labs soon shut shop for lack of clear directions.
To avoid such a costly mistake, leaders and innovation lab workforce should sit together and define their ideas and goals. Once the ideas are formulated, they need external support and development team. If they are too advanced, they must be handled outside the perimeters of company rules and regulations. To allow your innovation lab to succeed, support the innovation team and make their work relevant to the near or long-term goals.
No Metrics to Measure Progress: Companies give a free reign to labs so much so that there is no way to measure their success. It does not matter how disruptive your innovation lab is, measure its progress with metrics. If existing metrics do not apply, create new ones specific to the innovation. The initial metrics can be as simple as how many users are receiving benefits from the solution. Even if it is for long-term use, there must be some returns that you can measure and track at regular intervals.
Conflicts in the Team: The most important cause for innovation lab failure is leaders. They might be reputed professionals but working with a team of diverse people can be challenging. Also, entrepreneur-in-residence programs fail because they do not understand the internal workings of a company.
To avoid this mistake, bring in external consultants but also include in-house experts in your innovation lab. They will prevent your lab ideas straying from company objectives. Make the team as diverse as possible in terms of function, background, and intelligence. Investigate if you do not see much difference in ideas than that are already in business. Allow healthy conflicts of ideas to happen as that is what people encounter when they come from a diverse background. Pointed to be noted that large enterprises too have as much right to look into the future as startups.
To view the original article in full, visit the following link: https://hbr.org/2019/07/why-innovation-labs-fail-and-how-to-ensure-yours-doesnt