Top 30+ key obstacles to innovation

Top 30+ key obstacles to innovation

value creation

Creativity has become the currency of success

As most of the tangible advantages of the past have become commodities, creativity has become the currency of success.

A study of 1,500 CEOs indicated that leaders rank creativity as number one leadership attribute needed for prosperity:

Creativity is the most important leadership quality, according to CEOs. Standouts practice and encourage experimentation and innovation throughout their organisations.

Facing a world becoming dramatically more complex, it is interesting that CEOs selected creativity as the most important leadership attribute. Creative leaders invite disruptive innovation, encourage others to drop outdated approaches and take balanced risks. They are open-minded and inventive in expanding their management and communication styles, particularly to engage with a new generation of employees, partners and customers.

Mind the innovation gap

Unfortunately, many companies fail to unleash their most valuable resources: human creativity, imagination, and original thinking. They lack a systematic approach to building a culture of innovation, and then wonder why they keep getting beaten to the punch.

Mind the innovation gap - Obstacles to innovation

The hidden barriers to innovation – Key obstacles to innovation

Obstacles that will need to be addressed if you expect to establish a sustainable culture of innovation:

  1. Lack of a shared vision, purpose and/or strategy
  2. Short-term thinking/focus
  3. Lack of time, resources or staff
  4. Lack of “spec time” to develop new ideas and opportunities
  5. Innovation not articulated as a company-wide commitment
  6. Lack of ownership by senior leaders
  7. Leadership expects payoff sooner than is realistic
  8. Lack of a systematic innovation process
  9. Management incentives are not structured to reward innovation
  10. No reward and recognition programs
  11. Constantly shifting priorities
  12. Belief that innovation is inherently risky
  13. Internal process focus rather than external customer focus
  14. Inadequate understanding of customers
  15. Focus on successes of the past rather than the challenges of the future
  16. Unwillingness to change in the absence of a burning platform
  17. Unwillingness to acknowledge and learn from past “failures”
  18. Politics – efforts to sustain the status quo to support entrenched interests
  19. Rewarding crisis management rather than crisis prevention
  20. Hierarchy – over-management and review of new ideas
  21. Micromanagement
  22. Under-funding of new ideas in the name of sustaining current efforts
  23. Fear that criticizing current practices and commitments is a high-risk activity
  24. Risk aversion
  25. Addiction to left-brained, analytical thinking
  26. Absence of user-friendly idea management processes
  27. Innovation not part of the performance review process
  28. Lack of skillful brainstorm facilitation
  29. No creative thinking training

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom

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