Three Reasons Innovative Ideas Fail to Gain Traction

The Weekly Brief: Quick Tips and Tools to Apply at Work

If a change initiative winds up in the valley of death because it’s inconsistent with mission, vision, and value, let it die there. But many ideas fall victim to ignorance, ineptitude, or insurgence.

  • Ignorance. This leads us to poorly navigate the unknown. As leaders, we have to give people permission to get smarter so they have a more reliable compass.
  • Ineptitude. When we have the knowledge but fail to apply it correctly, digging out of the hole is nearly impossible. If you take a wrong turn, be brave enough to ask for direction.
  • Insurgence. You’ve got to face the saboteurs head on and convert them. Good change management certainly involves moving stakeholders out of their comfort zone into a zone of uncertainty, but it also requires you to keep them out of the panic zone.

As a change agent, you have to be astute enough to know the difference, and persistent enough to rescue a viable idea and help haul it back up the innovation peak.

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