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The Three Scariest Things About Innovation

You can hear it creeping around the corner. Stagnation. It’s in the house. No one will believe you. Everyone carries on like it’s business as usual, but you’ve seen it. It’s inviting you into the rut where it lives. You’ve got to escape. But how? Innovation.

If we’re carrying over this scary movie metaphor, maybe you see innovation like turning the key in a car that won’t start, or maybe to you innovation is throwing yourself out of that second story window to escape, only to hurt yourself even worse upon landing. What I’m saying is, maybe innovation looks like it should work, but you’re too scared of what might happen if it doesn’t. And before you know it, stagnation has eaten you alive.

1. There’s No Support for Innovation When It’s Needed.

One of the scariest things about innovation is getting buy-in from teams that will be affected. You can’t implement change on your lonesome. You need the full support of stakeholder departments to make sure the changes are deployed and working.

To address this fear, we recommend talking early and often about the benefits of the innovation. Pinpoint the likeliest players who are either too set in their ways or too skeptical to change. One of the things we know works is making sure those players have a voice at the table. Another solution is to ask them directly, “what might keep you from taking advantage of this change?” Listen to their fears and address them somehow within the design process.

2. The Innovation Could End Up Immediately Outdated.

Let’s break this down. Innovation efforts cost money, and if you’re innovating late, after your industry started a change, that causes fear. You wonder if you’re just going to have to turn around and spend more on innovation sooner rather than later because the competition is so much farther along than you are.

Look, if you make decisions based on whether you’ll have to make future decisions, you’re never going to move forward. It’s that simple. If you wait, your audience might not wait with you, and that should be your biggest driver to innovate. In truth, you should be in a constant state of innovation. Your offerings should always be getting better.

3. You’re Not Sure Where to Focus the Innovation Effort.

Often, departments are given budgets to initiate change in their company. Many times, they aren’t 100% sure where to focus that energy. Do they roll out new software? Maybe re-design on an older system? Enhance their mobile app? We’ve talked to companies who’ve spent over a year just trying to figure out amongst themselves where they should focus.

This is where a design agency can be your best friend. Obviously, we’d advocate for ourselves in this role (we’ve done this for literally hundreds of clients across dozens of industries), but my concern right now isn’t selling Rocksauce to you. My concern is making sure you’re aware that there are design innovation companies that exist for this very purpose.

In broad terms, find a user-focused partner who will assess the problems you’re trying to address with innovation and work with you to give clarity and a path toward the ultimate vision. If they can develop and deploy the solution (we can!) that’s even better.

Talk to us at [email protected] or call us at (866) 981-6847 for a free, no obligation discussion about innovating in your company without fear.