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The Labyrinth of Innovation Death
Gregg Fraley -- Best Keynotes on Creativity & Innovation Gregg Fraley -- Best Keynotes on Creativity & Innovation
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Chicago , IL
Monday, September 09, 2019


The Classic Pitfalls of Innovation

Mandates, Training, Process, Talent, Conflict, Risk

Where Have Your Initiatives Failed?

Innovation programs are like a labyrinth designed to have you lose your way — and die!
Organizations fail with initiatives for many reasons, with lots of good intentions. I was thinking about an upcoming talk I’m giving on innovation pitfalls — and got bored looking for graphics. So, I drew this, somewhat funky, diagram. It might be the only slide I need.

Innovation Pitfalls, a diagram by Gregg Fraley

It took me 20 minutes to draw this, but a lifetime to learn and experience the reality it depicts.
It’s somewhat self-explanatory but let me make a few remarks:
  • The most important bubble is in yellow. Projects are what drive innovation and change cultures. Getting projects going can help you trump all the other pitfalls.
  • Having a mandate might deserve it’s own color highlight. You can innovate without one, it just entails more risk. It’s the pitfall a lot of newbies don’t see coming, and it’s devastating.
  • Team conflict sinks valiant efforts, motivation, mandates, projects, and training. It is often nasty and difficult to sort out the conflict, but it’s even worse if you don’t face it. Leadership is how this is overcome, another missing bubble.
  • Talent is important but you can grow, borrow, and steal talent. Still, without it, you’re hosed.
  • Risk aversion is a signal that the organization wants to die. Nothing wrong with careful innovation, but at some point, risks are what bring rewards.
  • Process can either be a big help, or a big hindrance. What process you use (Agile, Design Thinking, Other) does indeed make a difference, and choosing a process might deserve it’s own bubble. Used improperly, a structured process will cramp your style. Used right, it’s a competitive edge.
If this is of interest I’d be happy to come talk to your team about how to overcome these pitfalls. This could be done as a consultation, a keynote, or a workshop.
I’m also available to talk about innovation on radio and television programs — I have a knack for getting to the point and simplifying complex innovation issues.
FYI:I’m doing a public workshop in Portage, Indiana, in association with the Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest, on September 19th, where this is the main topic. Register here. Or give me a call.
News Media Interview Contact
Name: Gregg Fraley
Title: Founding Partner
Group: KILN Ideas, Ltd.
Dateline: Three Oaks, MI United States
Direct Phone: 773-251-8567
Cell Phone: 773-251-8567
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