If you ask, “what drives successful innovation?” you are likely to get these answers: “Desire for growth.” “Demand for increased profitability.” “People.”
While clearly true, these are superficial answers. There’s no clear way to link these answers to the factors that would lead to success in innovation – or the factors that lead to failure. Innovation is still regarded as somewhat uncontrollable and mysterious, though this perception is beginning to change. The idea that there are factors that, singly and in combination, drive innovation (successful innovation in particular) has just begun to be discussed. An effort to understand innovation drivers – those factors that motivate and shape innovation efforts, and in no small way determine their success or failure – seemed to us to be a promising way to discover what factors make for success and failure in innovation.
We interviewed a number of executives from across a wide range of industries, who either were or had been responsible for innovation efforts throughout their careers. Our goal was to find common innovation drivers that could be linked to successes and failures.
During the course of collecting nearly twenty highly diverse innovation stories, we realized these executives were telling us about something much more actionable than drivers. They told us about:Questions that were asked and were not asked.Issues that were addressed and not addressed.Decisions that were and were not made.Information that strongly impacted the innovation effort, but was discovered too late to alter the effort.
Ultimately, their stories pointed out that it was these things, rather than the initial driver behind the innovation, that led either to a successful or to a failed innovation. We refer to these critical things as “lynchpin drivers.”#Heuristic #Framework