Want to innovate? learning to step out of your own way is key.
Depending on where you come from in life and how you are wired, you (or your team members) might be the enemy. Why? – because at some point we get in our own way. This is especially the case when it comes to Product Innovation or even any Innovation.
REALIZE ITS HAPPENING
Sometimes we don’t even realize we are in our own way, but here are some tell tale signals that we are:
- Trying to plan every little detail very very early in a project
- Not allowing for ambiguity (see above)
- Focusing too much on time or cost
- Making grandeur assumptions about technology platform or real user needs.
DEAL WITH IT
For Leaders and Managers setting expectations with upper management is key can mean that you have to deal with and be ok telling superiors that
- You don’t know
- You don’t have the information at the moment, but you will get to a point when you know more.
- It’s normal to have a level of ambiguity, but things will change.
Being ok with ambiguity and finding a way forward in say a few weeks time (depending on type and type of product) or a few months time is essential
Use a tactic to buy you some innovation space. Try not to focus on cost or timing by diverting and looking at real innovation drivers.
- Focus on the consumer, driving empathy via planning some consumer research to uncover insights that allow you to plan the next steps / find out what is important.
- Focus on a technology, researching and understanding trends and advancements in / of new and emerging technologies.
- Focus on competition, this is the weakest one, but buying Innovation space by studying your current competition and forecasting what they are doing / going and their trajectory. This may help you outthink or even convey the importance by grounding in everyday real situations like what your competitors are doing / selling right now.