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On resistance to innovation

From: Business Innovation Fundamentals

Video: On resistance to innovation

You get into a discussion about innovation and at some point the topic of resistance comes up. Innovation and resistance somehow seem to go together, I'm not exactly sure why. I'm not saying it's not true but I think organizations have resistance to a lot of things, not just innovation. From my experience in dealing with my own colleagues and in my own situation as well as my clients, I've seen resistance in the innovation space and it happens at different levels.

On resistance to innovation

You get into a discussion about innovation and at some point the topic of resistance comes up. Innovation and resistance somehow seem to go together, I'm not exactly sure why. I'm not saying it's not true but I think organizations have resistance to a lot of things, not just innovation. From my experience in dealing with my own colleagues and in my own situation as well as my clients, I've seen resistance in the innovation space and it happens at different levels.

One of the first things that people resist is this notion that you can learn innovation, people fight that. Ultimately when they start to learn systematic methods of creativity they start to change, but then they'll throw this at me. They'll say, "You know, Drew, that might work at your "company but that will never work at our company. "It just is not going to work on our products." This happened to me with a very large global multinational company in a training program, where one of the guys raises his hand and he says, "Drew, I just don't see it working on our products." What we had to do is take one of their products right there on the spot.

We took a household appliance, and I remember vividly, we applied a systematic innovation method to it and right in front of the team, this group of about 40 marketers at this company, we were able to produce valuable ideas, new-to-the-world ideas. Sometimes that's what it takes. People have to have that experience to break down that resistance. Then the resistance factor can really kick in. A team invests in innovation, they come up with a lot of great ideas, but then they've got to get them through the pipeline.

That's where the resistance can really hit, simply because there's competition for resources. Other people want to get their ideas into the market too. The managers of a company are always making the tradeoffs between what are the best projects, what are the projects that are really going to push us forward to meet our financial goals. I get this complaint from people, from companies a lot. They'll say, "Drew, we can come up with ideas, "we just can't seem to get them in to the marketplace." I asked them, "What's the problem? "What do you think the issue is? Tell me about your ideas." They said, "The ideas aren't necessarily that "good and we're struggling with that." I say, "If the organizational antibodies are "slowing down the process of these ideas "it's because the ideas are mediocre." If you are very good at executing mediocre ideas, you end up with a lot of well-executed mediocre ideas in the marketplace.

You're better off generating high-quality ideas and that will reduce the resistance in getting it through to the pipeline. Then the final level of resistance I would say is that you get in to the market place, and there is change with innovation. People are going to look at your new-fangled ideas and they're going to scratch their head and go, "What do I do with this? How does this affect me." Innovation causes a certain disruption and an excitement in to the marketplace. It attracts attention and it attracts some resistance.

People have angst about and they fear change, and that's really at the root of some of this, what I'll call market resistance. Yes indeed, resistance happens with innovation at a lot of levels. The great innovators are willing to face it every step of the way.

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Business Innovation Fundamentals

58 video lessons · 2237 viewers

Drew Boyd
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      19s
  2. 21m 37s
    1. What is innovation? Introducing Systematic Inventive Thinking
      3m 21s
    2. The principle of function follows form
      4m 8s
    3. The closed-world principle
      4m 16s
    4. Characteristics of innovative products and services
      3m 51s
    5. Challenging the myth of thinking outside the box
      3m 11s
    6. Challenging the myth of serendipity
      2m 50s
  3. 11m 55s
    1. Functional fixedeness
      2m 26s
    2. The subtraction technique
      2m 59s
    3. Subtraction in action
      4m 8s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 22s
  4. 10m 35s
    1. Structural fixedness
      2m 32s
    2. The division technique
      2m 43s
    3. Division in action
      3m 3s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 17s
  5. 16m 25s
    1. The multiplication technique
      4m 24s
    2. Multiplication in action
      4m 39s
    3. Zooming in and zooming out
      4m 51s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 31s
  6. 15m 45s
    1. The task-unification technique
      4m 19s
    2. Task unification in action
      4m 14s
    3. Using task unification for business issues
      4m 27s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 45s
  7. 17m 49s
    1. The attribute dependency technique
      3m 32s
    2. Creating an attribute dependency matrix
      3m 37s
    3. Types of dependencies
      4m 12s
    4. Attribute dependency in action
      4m 31s
    5. Addressing common challenges
      1m 57s
  8. 27m 7s
    1. Running ideation workshops
      4m 13s
    2. Which technique to use
      3m 26s
    3. Creating new services and processes
      3m 17s
    4. Creating digital innovations
      5m 12s
    5. Involving customers
      5m 49s
    6. Evaluating ideas
      5m 10s
  9. 14m 48s
    1. Mastering innovative thinking
      3m 42s
    2. Building a pilot program
      3m 56s
    3. Addressing organizational challenges with innovation
      4m 3s
    4. Next steps
      3m 7s
  10. 52m 41s
    1. About Drew
      2m 9s
    2. What is innovation?
      51s
    3. What got Drew started in innovation?
      2m 15s
    4. On innovation as a skill
      1m 53s
    5. On innovation as part of your business
      1m 58s
    6. On resistance to innovation
      3m 31s
    7. On innovation's tainted image
      2m 34s
    8. Where do you apply innovation strategies?
      2m 31s
    9. Who should lead an innovation effort?
      3m 6s
    10. On favorite innovation experiences
      3m 51s
    11. On innovation vs. strategy
      3m 36s
    12. On working with innovation consultants
      3m 20s
    13. On trends in innovation
      3m 26s
    14. On innovation as competition
      2m 32s
    15. On innovative companies
      2m 43s
    16. On generating vs. executing ideas
      3m 2s
    17. Can you overdo innovation?
      2m 1s
    18. How do you start innovating?
      3m 44s
    19. On the most innovative products
      3m 38s

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