Innovation Confessions invites people to share real experiences from innovation projects that did not go according to plan, so we can all learn and become more successful innovators.
We are extremely excited about Innovation Confessions. Our mission is to transform how we tackle local and global challenges by sharing practical advice from mistakes made in real innovation programs. The knowledge comes directly from people involved in projects – straight from the horse’s mouth!
There is immense value in learning from these cases. However, it is rare for organisations to see mistakes in innovation projects as opportunities to improve. This has to change if we want to transform how we tackle local and global challenges. We need to learn from mistakes and share the learning across the private and public sectors.
Innovation Confessions matters because it enables, for the first time, the sharing of vital lessons from innovation initiatives across sectors.
Have you been involved in an innovation project that did not go according to plan (i.e. mistakes were made)? Did it have a significant impact on your organisation?
Perhaps you come from an R&D, marketing, IT, commercial, strategy, sales, NPD, or operations background? Have you worked on technologies, products, services, propositions, business models, growth, etc., in a large corporation, a nonprofit organisation or as a social innovator? If so, please read on!
What I mean by 'fail', for example, is an innovation that did not perform well in the market, a project that is stopped just before the market launch, or an organisation that was too slow at innovating and responding to changes in the market. Other examples include:
- Developing or launching a product or service without having the right customer insight
- R&D and product developments taking longer than expected
- Launching a business model without testing it properly
- When the setting up of a new supply chain doesn't go according to plan because implementation risks were not taken into account. This is particularly relevant for complex global programs.
- Financial models built on the wrong set of assumptions
- Changes in legislation might have an impact on the direction you are taking
- Coming up against IP issues after your product is launched
- An in-house innovation lab / incubator / accelerator program that was not setup properly
Innovation projects are also heavily dependent on internal factors such as management support, having the right budget and team, a proper process, governance, etc. The list goes on and on!
For clarity, I am not referring to the early 'exploratory' stages of innovation.
Have you been involved in an innovation project that did not go according to plan (i.e. mistakes were made)? Perhaps it was developing or improving products, services, propositions, business models, new technologies, etc.? Were the results you set out to achieve not realised? Did this have a significant impact on your organisation? What is your advice to others in a similar situation?
There is immense value in learning from these cases, yet many organisations still view mistakes as something to avoid, particularly in innovation programs. Having worked for twenty-five years in the field of innovation, I can tell you first-hand that it is rare for organisations to see mistakes in innovation projects as opportunities to improve. I believe we need to change this.
To prepare for success, we need to learn from mistakes.
Why Innovation Confessions matters? People successfully innovating are a force to be reckoned with! Today, we face many global challenges that, if they are to be addressed, require successful innovation and cooperation from the public and private sectors. Innovation Confessions matters because it enables, for the first time, the sharing of vital lessons from innovation initiatives across sectors. By sharing the learning from mistakes, we are in a better position to transform how we tackle local and global challenges and support economic growth.
If you have worked in a large corporation, a nonprofit organisation or you’re a social innovator, you have at least one great story to share! Please read the guidelines. It is important to speak about a program you were directly involved in that offers practical insight to others. We are not asking for management theories or generic advice. It has to come straight from the horse's mouth!
Do you know someone with a great story? If so, please forward my details. I would also like to talk to you if you have recently retired from a career in innovation?
Click here to read the guidelines. If you prefer to submit anonymously, that is fine, too, but please include your email in case we have a question of clarification.
Because this project is such an important initiative, I will be dedicating a lot of my energy to it. I can see it growing in some exciting directions! But, it is going to take time to develop. Eventually, it will be relocated to a new site InnovationConfessions.com.
I hope Innovation Confessions will be a great resource. Thank you for taking the time to get involved!