Three must-read articles on how to overcome innovation challenges

August 15th, 2017

Since our customers, as well as innovation leaders across industries, face similar challenges, we are constantly on the hunt for and share articles that provide valuable insights and inspiration.

One topic we’ve seen covered particularly well is why it’s so hard for large companies to innovate. Thankfully, these pieces include suggestions on how to overcome difficulties, many of which require larger shifts in thinking and culture.

Here are our top three reads and the top take-away from each:

1. The Stage Where Most Innovation Projects Fail – Harvard Business Review

: Despite good ideas and CEO support, projects can fail when transferred to business units (BU) because of poor communication, not enough buy-in from the BU itself, and a lack of resources, accountability and/or incentives for success.

: involve BUs at all stages of innovation, not only when it comes to time to launch.

2. Why large companies find it difficult to innovate and what they can do about it – Steve Blank

: The Godfather of the lean startup approach names four reasons for corporate innovation difficulties: belief in false premise that they exist to maximize shareholder value, leaders who only know how to execute the current business model, explosive shifts in technology and startups being better at identifying and pursuing disruptive models.

: Replace a static execution model with three horizons of continuous innovation that each have their own acceptable risk level and KPIs.

3. Big Companies are Learning to Work with Small Ones (But It’s Not Easy) – Techonomy

: Corporations are working with startups in several ways (accelerators, investment, partnerships, hackathons), but often they have not spent enough time being strategic about their approach or defining success, plus no one has found the magic formula.

: To find what works, be willing to experiment — with approaches, with the number of startups taken through a pipeline — and accept that not everything will succeed.

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