The 11 Bad Habits Killing Innovation in Your Company

Taken from a guest post of Alexander Osterwalder on the blog of Steve Blank

  1. The current business model dominates the agenda
    “…managing the present often takes oxygen away from inventing the future” 
  2. One-size-fits-all decision making hurts speed & inventiveness
  3. Insisting on untested and detailed business plans 
    “Business plans actually maximize the risk of failure because of the focus on executing an unproven idea rather than testing it.”
  4. Opinions matter more than evidence 
  5. Outsourcing customer discovery and testing
    “You can’t hire outside professionals to test and learn from customer interactions and make decisions for you“
  6. Senior leadership too busy for hands-on innovation
    “…leaders have to be more than just sponsors of new business ideas. Decision makers are the ones who can make things happen.“
  7. Obsessing about competitors rather than customers
    “You can’t drive forward by looking in the rear view mirror.”
  8. Focus on technology risk at the expense of other risks
  9. Innovation is career limiting
    “…in most organizations any type of failure is seen as a negative for your career. …  prestige in companies is measured by who commands the largest budget and staff.”
  10. Innovation is siloed from Execution
    “…the execution engine deprives the innovators from access to valuable resources like customers, brand, or skills.”
  11. Integrating new ideas into the execution engine too quickly

    “New ideas are fragile and they need to be carefully nurtured and scaled before they are integrated into the execution engine with its rigid processes, key performance indicators rules, and procedures.”

My favorite podcast. Guy Raz is interviewing Founders who made it and get them to tell their stories ‘How they built this’. A couple of commonalities emerge from listening to different Founders:  

  • Success doesn’t came overnight
  • It’s never a one-man show
  • They have an idea they strongly believe in
  • You need to leave your comfort zone
  • They were not in for the money (or say to get rich)
  • They launched with something that hardly qualifies as prototype
  • Building a company is difficult

Nothing of this is new but more like common wisdom, however, its still interesting to identify a set of patterns by listening to the stories of successful Founders. 

Link: http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510313/how-i-built-this