Implementing innovation is necessary across all organizations. Getting it right, however, is a lot more difficult. There are some very common mistakes made with innovation management software SaaS tools, but these are mistakes that can be avoided. By building your awareness of them, you may be able to not fall into their traps either.
Two Key Mistakes
There are two key mistakes that almost everybody makes when it comes to innovation:
- They think they know what problems their customers have that need to be solved.
- They immediately try to solve the problem.
If you think that there is a problem that your customers have, you need to find out whether you are right about that. Do not, ever, make any assumptions. Speak to your customers, listen to them, and conduct proper research. You may be surprised to find that what you believed was a problem is not a problem at all. Or, at the opposite of the spectrum, that the problem you had identified is just the tip of the iceberg. Either way, it is likely that once you truly know what the problems your customers are facing are, you will have to move in a completely different direction in terms of idea generation.
The second mistake is that we are all far too solution-driven. Naturally, the ultimate goal is to solve problems, but because of our drive, we take the wrong approach to this. Most notably, when one of us believes that we have found a solution, we think it is the only thing that will work. We love our own solutions. We forget that the goal was not for us to take the glory with a solution, the goal was to solve a problem. It is hard to make that distinction, but it essentially means that you let go of your solution and allow others to tinker with it, until it actually becomes something that works – and that is not necessarily attributed to you.
How to Avoid Mistakes
Keys to avoiding these types of mistake from happening are:
- Make sure that everything you do is customer-centric. You don’t need to force the newest craze or coolest technology onto your customer if they are not interested in it. Rather, you must identify their problems and frustrations, and resolve those, together.
- Never, ever, assume anything. You must head out onto the streets, speak to your actual customers, listen to what they have to say, and don’t go into defensive mode. You are there to find out what it is that they need, so that you can find a way to offer them exactly that.
- Do not go into solutions mode. Come up with possible solutions and then open source them. Crowdsourcing software can help with that, whereby everybody collectively takes ownership of an idea.
- Don’t implement a possible solution until you have gone back to your customer and spoke to them. In fact, involve them in your overall innovation process.