INSTANT MBA: 3 Things Leaders Get Wrong About Innovation

Jeff DeGraff

Today’s advice comes from Jeff DeGraff, business professor at the University of Michigan, via LinkedIn

“Chances are, innovation doesn’t work where you work — or only works some of the time, mostly in spite of your organisation’s system and processes. Why? Because you don’t understand what makes the innovation game so different from everything else you do at work —and you haven’t adjusted your playbook to accommodate these differences.”

DeGraff says that most young leaders get a lot wrong about how to reach true innovation. First, data can’t always help your business predict the future and businesses tend to rely on it too much for guidance. Second, failure is inevitable and innovation happens in cycles. Lastly, DeGraff warns not to ignore ideas that seem unconventional or implausible. 

“You need to adjust your key indicators as you traverse the undiscovered country … don’t believe that once you take a higher point of view others will follow. Those who see the future first are always assumed to be delusional because in some ways they are.”

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