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Innovation Lets Go

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Why is innovation is so hard? If you’ve worked in an organization that insisted on measuring all progress, you might recognize a pattern. It could be because management and accounting can’t put a number on the change. They won’t bet on things that can’t be quantified. Why Innovation is So Hard explains this dynamic succinctly: These gatekeepers “hold assumptions that the future will look like today.”

Truly game changing ideas let go of some part of the past.

Let the optimization wonks stick to the metrics. They seek alignment. You need to adjust your key indicators as you traverse the undiscovered country. You seek valuable variation. Be skeptical of portfolio and stage-gate processes that promise to accelerate innovation. These tools assume that you know everything you need to know at the start of the journey

So don’t be discouraged if your idea runs into resistance. Or the gatekeepers in your circle or industry don’t understand. The truth is that after you’ve done your due diligence, gathered the best people you can, consulted with trustworthy partners, you still might fail. Your idea might not be what you thought it was.

But if your innovation is truly revolutionary, no one knows now whether it will succeed.

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