- Ideas without mechanisms
The thing that most companies dream of is to be like Google and innovate their way to success. But the problem is that not all organisations work on the same foundational superiority. Google allows its employees to innovate for about 20% of the total time that they work for. But the fact of the matter is that Google has mechanisms to take these ideas forward and make an actual implementable impact. Google translate for starters was a side project, which has now grown into a global phenomenon. Most companies ask their employees to replicate this, but the problem arises when the organisation doesn’t have any sort of mechanism to take it forward. In the end, you are left with a long list of possible innovations that never see the light of day.
- Constraints and creativity
The problem brews when people think that freeing people from constraints will make them innovative and entrepreneurial. But the fact of the matter is that, unless there is a problem to solve, there can’t be good ideas emerging. Constraints need to be in place to ensure that people are trying to solve a problem in an environment where it is implementable and not in one that is ideal in nature. With complete freedom, executives attain ideas that cannot be implemented due to its overly fragmented nature and one that was built for an entirely different environment than the one that they are currently in. So if you want your employees to innovate for the company and its growth, then giving them real-time constraints along with the problem can be a world of difference to the outcome.
- Playing it safe
You can’t have a culture that promotes risk-taking and one that undermines failure. What organisations fail to understand is that, by saying you are allowing risks; you are also turning around and saying that it is okay to fail. But executives then throw around the term risk-free quite callously, and this promotes employees to play it safe. Let’s get this straight, a company that is rooted in the stigma of failure is not going to attain innovative and entrepreneurial ideas because of the cloud that will appear over a person’s head, if he or she were to fail at something that others would consider as risky. The other important thing to consider is that initial risks in innovation need to be understood and not undermined because you have a higher chance of making it work if you allow organic growth.