No such thing as a fast buck
After hours of brainstorming, R&Ding, planning, thinking and talking, you'd think that at least one person in these huge multi-national corporations would have stood up and challenged the notion of Colgate making meals or Bic making underpants.
But this is what happens when executives who not only want their organizations to generate innovative ideas but also want to be the first to market with them.
In business, getting to market quickly with new ideas is critically important. But if those ideas are weak or if implementation is poorly executed, moving quickly is simply wasted energy and money.
The goal of any innovation effort must be to make optimal decisions efficiently, rather than easy ones quickly. This requires leaders and their teams to:
- Welcome input from team members and colleagues who might challenge their thinking.
- Be aware of their natural (possibly counterproductive) reactions to ideas that come from people who have different perspectives and personal styles than they do.
- Focus less on telling and selling, and more on asking and Constructive Challenge, to ensure that the team's innovative thinking has been fully explored.
In the end, it's about doing things right the first time, and avoiding rework and costly innovation launch mistakes.
Or as hall-of-fame UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said it:
"If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?"
What is the worst innovation you’ve heard of? What shortcuts have worked for you? What was the worst innovation decision you’ve seen made?