As someone in charge of directing and managing the company’s innovation, you must also face some barriers to innovation now and then.
These challenges are bad eggs that exist to impede the success and progress of a company.
They may make organizations find it difficult to evolve with the rapidly changing market trends in the evergrowing competition, analyze the changes in customer preferences, and innovate more.
In this article, we will discuss how to mitigate the barriers to fostering a culture of creativity and innovation where there is a seamless stream of ideas and innovations.
5 Barriers to Innovation Affecting Companies Today
Facing various challenges is normal in every organization when it comes to innovation. We would like to discuss the challenges and barriers most companies face in driving innovation within their organization.
1. Overemphasis on short-term ROI
Big Companies usually prioritise short-term innovation as opposed to long-term.
This is because short-term innovations don’t take as much time, money and effort into planning and implementation.
But, excessive focus on immediate returns on investment (ROI) can discourage long-term innovation efforts.
This gets worse if your company is publicly traded, the pressure to deliver short-term financial results is high. And this is very understandable as every business has to make profits to keep the lights on.
But if you closely look at it, the fastest and cheapest innovation will be close to the current market solution. So innovation doesn’t get to make a huge difference.
And you will also agree that long-term ideas and innovation are more intricate, visionary, and strategic.
If this is one of the barriers you face while managing your innovation process, see here how you can solve this.
2. Employee disengagement
Some employees are gifted and this enables them to come up with ideas sporadically. And they still find time to research and experiment with these ideas.
But sometimes these employees may have doubts about sharing their ideas. They may not feel valued, their idea may get overstepped, their idea may get stolen etc.
Hence, they tend to be more conservative with their ideas.
If this condition is allowed to linger, most of your innovative masterminds might lose interest in ideation processes.
These employees must be nurtured and rewarded. Rewards can come in the form of public acknowledgement of the idea.
And giving them the freedom to go ahead with the idea without fear of risk to their careers.
3. Ambitious Benchmarking
As a CEO or innovative manager, we know the amazing work you do to fuel productivity.
Comparing benchmarks to other organizations and also looking to pass this year’s KPI is very important to give employees an extra push.
But revolutionary innovation is focused more on the long-term and such benchmarks dwindle innovative ideas before they even have a chance to fly.
And if a lot of emphases is placed on attaining very ambitious predetermined benchmarks as opposed to existing standards, risk-taking will be discouraged.
Because innovation requires thinking outside the box, testing uncharted territories and also taking calculated risks. Your company might miss out on groundbreaking innovations.
4. Innovation is expensive
Within a profit-oriented company, satisfying investors and customers is very essential to a company’s survival.
This can make resources very scarce especially when there is a lot within your company that needs financing.
Innovation also requires highly skilled professionals, the building of new infrastructure, offering incentive packages to innovators, market testing and variation and so much more.
All of these can be financially draining.
Another problem can be the cost of organizing hackathons which can be very difficult to plan and resources to finance this might be very scarce.
And some will argue that it is not worth the time and money.
5. Fear of change
As an innovative manager, you are required to welcome change wholeheartedly but we are all humans and we tend to get comfortable with our normal methods and processes.
You also might not welcome change because you don’t want to disrupt already established routines within your companies.
Another reason might be the fact that your previous changes didn’t turn out as you hoped so now you have a little scepticism.
But we have to understand that the greatest achievements came from overcoming failure. And change is necessary for growth because as the saying goes.
“The only real failure is the failure to try”.
So we must keep trying to improve and grow.
6 Ways to Overcome Barriers to Innovation
Breaking through innovative barriers can be challenging but with the right approach, it is possible to breed within your company a culture of innovation
1. Creating time to be innovative through effective time management
We understand how difficult it is to run activities within a company, and having to mix this with setting out time to be innovative can be overwhelming.
But Here are some strategies you can employ to create time for innovation within your organization
- You first have to make sure your employees know the importance of innovation and then set it as a priority so that they see it as any other task. Blue-sky thinking, research and experimentation can also be employed.
- You can delegate tasks and spread them out among employees to ensure no large amount of work is assigned to one person
- Streamlining the process, which will be done effectively by idea management tools. For example, InspireIP will help in breaking down steps into simpler units and cut down the time from idea generation to idea implementation. This will enable you to focus on other things that require your attention whilst keeping your company innovative
2. Developing an atmosphere that promotes an innovative culture
You are aware that it is important to develop an atmosphere where an innovative culture will be fostered, but it is easier said than done.
So here are a few pointers to guide you through
- Setting up a clear vision and purpose for your company. You need to communicate with everyone the importance of innovation and how it aligns with the vision you have for your company
- Providing constructive feedback to employees will prompt employees to stimulate their inner innovative abilities. Feedback can’t always be that of approval but it must be constructive and motivating.
- Developing employees’ innovative skillset by organizing upskilling programs, and workshops.
- Programming a mindset of learning from company failures into employees. They should be made to know that company failures are precursors to success and they should not be deterred.
- Using an idea management tool. For example InspireIP, a tool that conveniently replaces expensive Hackathons and provides a centralised platform where employees will share ideas seamlessly. This tool will also harness employees’ power of innovation and promote collaboration between teams.
3. Include R&D for software in your budget
We talked earlier about how budget restraints can be a stumbling block to innovation. We can also mitigate this problem.
- Adequate budget planning is very important for innovation to have a place in your company. And so you have to include it in your company’s budget this will enable you to Invest in the right software tools
- The biggest companies invest more than 25% of their budget in research and development for software innovation. But we understand that 25% is very huge for most companies which is why we recommend using your scarce resources smartly. So even your 2% can be used diligently.
- One smart and economical way to invest your resources is in an idea management tool. A tool like inspireIP will save you a lot of time. And as the saying goes “Time is money”. This tool will not only save you time but reduce your workload as it will streamline the steps from idea formation to idea implementation.
4. Encouraging Diversity in Innovation
Solutions to problems do not come from people thinking alike. Diverse groups will see things from different perspectives as opposed to having homogenous teams.
A team in Havard Business Review confirms that when at least one member of a team shares a client’s ethnicity, the team is 2× more likely to understand the needs of the client.
Here are a few ways diversity can be encouraged
- Clear communication with your employees on the importance of diversity and inclusivity within your company.
- Constantly Reviewing and revising your recruitment process to avoid any bias. This can be done by blind resume screening and diverse interview panels to ensure that candidates who are picked are picked based on merits.
- Establishing a communicative and collaborative culture among employees across various departments and also among employees from different backgrounds. With InspireIP, you have a platform where these activities are done seamlessly.
- Remote appointments allow you to tap into a larger and more diverse talent pool. If location isn’t a barrier companies can hire from various geographical areas, hence creating a diverse workforce. And with InspireIP, remote teams will present their ideas regardless of current locations.
5. Building a system that welcomes change
As an innovative or project manager, you sure would have experienced employees’ reluctance to adopt an idea.
Even ideas as little as telling employees to throw disposable plastic cups into recycling dustbins can be difficult to implement.
But this can be remedied. You can adopt the following pointers
- The first thing a project manager must do before an idea is implemented is to seek out every department’s view on the idea.
- The next step is to make sure they are actively involved in the implementation process.
- You also need to create time to speak to every department or employee and some employees might feel intimidated to talk to their managers. A tool like inspireIP will capture employee feedback with just a click of a button.
This whole process is done so that employees feel part of the entire process.
So when the innovation is finally implemented, they would have been conversant and familiar with the idea.
6. Innovation doesn’t have to be expensive
We have seen earlier how innovation can be very expensive.
Now we are saying Innovation doesn’t always have to be expensive, you can leverage various approaches which can include
- An idea management tool like InspireIP will provide a centralised platform where employees can drop ideas anytime with the click of a button. Our tool will organize innovation challenges and you will have the liberty of setting deadlines. All these will be done without having to worry about the how, why and where. Unlike hackathons, these processes are stress-free
- Promoting small-scale experiments of ideas, which can be in the form of instalment financing. There is no need to fund an innovative idea fully at a go!
- Checking the viability of a business idea. With our tool, you will have access to feedback from relevant stakeholders and you will also get to see their views on potential risks and challenges about ideas. This will assist you in making more informed decisions. And all these will be done in the comfort of your office
Using an idea management tool to overcome barriers to innovation
What is an idea management tool?
An idea management tool is a simple software that facilitates the collection, evaluation and implementation of innovative ideas.
But how to choose an idea management tool that is perfect for your company?
Here we will look at how InspireIP conveniently stands out from the crowd.
Unique features that InspireIP will bring to your company
1. No hidden cost
A lot of idea management tools lack transparency and the real costs associated with the software are not stated upfront.
This can be very disturbing especially when you are trying to manage scarce resources.
But with InspireIP, you don’t have to worry about any hidden costs at all.
Our pricing structure and terms of service are straightforward. And you don’t have to worry about paying more along the line.
2. Doesn’t require any training
The last thing you want to do after getting an ideation tool is to worry about educating your employees on how to operate the software.
Not all tools possess an easy UI/UX but with inspireIP, we have you covered.
Our design team made it a priority to make the InspireIP interface very understandable for any user.
3. Branding and customization are done at your convenience
Every organization has its peculiarities.
And you need a tool that will give you the liberty to customize its appearance and branding to match your organization’s identity.
If you select an idea management tool that has limited functionalities then you would be at a disadvantage.
This is why inspireIP is your go-to tool, a tool that consistently creates optimum user experience.
4. Seamless integration into your preferred tool
Whether you use Asana, Trello or Basecamp etc as a product management tool or if you use Slack channels or Gchat etc as your communication tool.
InspireIP integrates seamlessly with any platform of your choice to streamline steps from idea formation to idea implementation.
InspireIP even captures ideas as they are mentioned in conversations.
5. Idea tracking and monitoring of idea progression
Hundreds of newly generated ideas can be submitted daily, and you require a tool that will assist you in providing feedback to your employees.
With InspireIP your employees will be able to track the progress of their ideas.
They would be able to see if their ideas are under review, in progress or implemented.
With this, transparency will be maintained throughout the ideation process.
6. Idea evaluation and ranking
Employees must have a say in the idea implementation process.
This is done to provide inclusivity to employees. It is also done to provide you with a none biased judgement of ideas.
InspireIP has scoring mechanisms that will make identifying the most promising ideas easy. With this feature, you don’t have to contemplate which ideas are best.
Importance of overcoming the barriers to innovation
Overcoming barriers to innovation is of utmost importance to any organization.
This increases the competitiveness of your company and positions your company one step ahead of the competition.
Here are some benefits you stand to gain by overcoming barriers to innovation
- Position your company ahead of your competitors and introduction of new services or products to satisfy your evolving customer’s needs.
- Your company will be able to proactively respond to change which can be changed due to technological advancements or changes be changers’ preferences
- Trust will be built on the part of your customers because by overcoming barriers to innovation, your company will develop products and services that address customer’s pain points and surpass their expectations
- By overcoming barriers to Innovation, your company will future-proof itself from future uncertainties. Your companies will consistently stay ahead of current market trends and you will never be left behind.
Take action now through InspireIP
We have seen thus far that overcoming barriers to innovation is necessary to thrive in today’s competitive environment.
And one way you will remain competitive is by choosing the best innovation management tool that will cater to your company’s needs.
With InspireIP you will get a software tool that will integrate seamlessly into your company.
InspireIP is a centralised platform that is easy to use, boosts collaboration with various departments within your company and above all captures employee ideas.
InspireIP with all its functionalities mentioned in this article will be incorporated into your company in just 24 hours and this will be a big step to overcoming the barriers to innovation within your organization.
For more information, contact us at email@example.com and we will get back to you.
You can also try a free basic trial here, it won’t take more than 5 minutes!