Give it a try II

Another common mistake made by bureaucratic organizations in innovation or testing new ideas is too much planning.

Large organizations tend to be made up of people with Type A personalities.  This is fine and good for the parts of the organization that have already passed their market test and are producing profits. You want well-oiled operations in order to efficiently deliver existing value propositions and Type A folks are good to make sure the all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted to achieve that.

Unfortunately, Type A folks often get too heavily involved in the innovation process in large organizations.  This leads to over planning, which suffocates innovation.

These folks will plan the execution of the new idea to a tee before any actual market testing happens.  Their plans will look impressive to other Type A folks and these plans are often the output that the organization’s managers reward on.

When the idea eventually reaches the market and doesn’t perform as planned, they tend to pull the plug on it without giving it a chance to adapt and respond to customers because they’ve scaled it out so large that it’s too expensive to keep rolling.  It’s a one-shot trial.

Large organizations can learn something from the real new idea market – entrepreneurship.

Don’t over plan.  Test small.  Keep Type A people away from the innovation process until the others hit upon value propositions that customers are willing to pay for.  Get the innovators away from HQ.  Let them adapt their ideas based on real world operations.  Give it a little time and patience.  If you keep it small, costs won’t be a big concern.

Keep in mind that nearly all successful businesses started small, adapted for awhile through trial-and-error experimentation until they hit on a winning formula that got a good customer response and then expanded almost on a self-funding basis.


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