It may come off as a shock, but it is believed that almost 90% of innovation labs fail. Many are unable to walk their talk. And most people can’t seem to put the finger on why they have such a high failure rate.
Innovation labs are a place where organizations are free to run all types of experiments. It’s not so much about the project as it is about the ideas that can be brought to life in these labs. There are no boundaries or restrictions as long as the resources are used sustainably.
You can consider innovation courses as an essential investment for firms that struggle with a rigid organizational structure.
So what’s going wrong? Innovation labs were meant to assist creative growth, not hinder it. To achieve the innovation success you wish, it’s essential to understand the pitfalls and how you can tackle them.
Significant pitfalls of innovation labs
1. The goal of the lab doesn’t align with the business
A lot of times, there may be some confusion about what the organizations wish to accomplish through the innovation courses. It is not as simple as making great ideas. Those ideas also need to align with the business.
Running around aimlessly, coming up with ideas that do not coincide with the vision of the organization or even their industry altogether will only waste money, time, and effort. Organizations must set a clear goal and vision for the labs to make the most of them.
The scope of the lab shouldn’t be limited to just generating ideas. It should also look after the growth of the idea after it has been approved to be turned into a product or even another business/subsidiary.
It should consider how it will support the entrepreneurs, build a client circle, and handle the other business-side of things.
2. No metrics to track the progress
Once you define what you want from the lab, you should specify how you plan to quantify your progress throughout the project cycle.
Now, innovation courses have an entirely different outlook when it comes to financial support. These labs need space for iterations; they need to evolve over time to accommodate future growth and incubate ideas. However, with no metrics to quantify the process, you’ll never know how much you are putting in and how much you are getting out.
Be clear about what the stakes are to everyone involved, so they know the benefits and the loss. You can receive a financial return or something more valuable, like intelligence (new knowledge and insight).
Your metrics could be as simple as asking yourself various questions over the timeline of the project and see how the idea is doing. For example, how many users found value in the concept? How often will they use it?
You can have similar metrics to measure organizational capabilities and leadership skills in the team.
Each individual has a particular way of looking at things and approaching them. For example, some of them could have an in-depth knowledge of the industry, but they may not know how to lead innovation.
It’s all about finding the right mix of people. They need to work well together but also bring something unique to the table. One could be an industry expert, while another one could be well versed with project development and management.
Evidently, diverse teams are popular because they bring a variety that ensures a broader perspective and high returns. However, there could be some misunderstanding due to the same diversity, so it’s important how you manage them and keep the team together.
Uses of innovation labs
Innovation training through labs is an excellent place for people who want to build their ideas into reality. They offer them resources and every kind of support possible from the stage of inception until the stage of deployment.
It also allows them to interact with many people from the industry, research facilities, and more. It helps them expand their circle of acquaintances and also get in touch with the right kind of crowd for their idea.
Many entrepreneurs meet their investors through innovation labs and get their funds for building their business. Among many well-known examples of this is Snapchat. It was first pitched on a TV show called Shark Tank in the USA. And from there on, history was written. Now every phone has Snapchat on it.
In a nutshell, if you do plan to build innovation labs at your organization and offer innovation training might as well make the most of it. Be smart with how you use it to your advantage. And you’ll definitely find success. For more ideas on how you can further leverage your business, visit our website.