The 3 Biggest Innovation Management Mistakes – And How To Avoid Them

Innovation management is a crucial aspect of any business, as it affords many benefits to companies, including the ability to stay ahead of the curve, adapt to changing market conditions, and bring new products and services to the market. However, managing innovation is not always easy, and there are a number of common mistakes that businesses can make along the way. In this article, we'll take a look at the biggest innovation management mistakes, and how you can avoid them in order to drive successful innovation in your organization.

1. Stagnation will see your company fall behind

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses can make when it comes to innovation management is failing to set clear goals and objectives. Without clear direction, it can be difficult to guide innovation efforts and determine whether or not they are successful. This can lead to wasted resources and a lack of focus, which can ultimately hinder the success of your innovation efforts.

An example of this mistake can be seen in the case of Kodak. In the early 2000s, Kodak was a dominant player in the film and photography industry. However, the company failed to adapt to the digital age, despite recognizing the potential of digital photography as early as the 1970s. In fact, Kodak invented the first self-contained digital camera. However, ultimately Kodak's lack of clear goals and objectives for its digital strategy led to missed opportunities and ultimately contributed to the company's decline.

To avoid this mistake, it's important to start with the intention of your innovation efforts. This might include things like identifying specific customer needs that can be addressed or setting specific target market segments to reach. By setting clear goals and objectives, intrapreneurs can help guide their innovation efforts and ensure that they are on the right track. Tools like KICKBOX, help guide innovators from coming up with an idea to researching, prototyping, testing and eventually implementing it.


2. Lack of diversity in the team

Another common mistake in innovation management is a lack of diversity in the team. It's important to have a diverse team of people with different perspectives and backgrounds, as this can lead to a wider range of ideas and approaches.

For example, a team made up entirely of engineers may have a limited perspective on customer needs, which can lead to missed opportunities in the development of products or services. This is a challenge ZF Friedrichshafen was facing, but the KICKBOX community ecosystem helped the company’s technical-minded engineers to slow down and instead think about the problem from the customer’s perspective.

A diverse team that includes people from different departments and backgrounds can bring a wider range of ideas and insights to the table, which can lead to more successful innovation efforts, ensuring that there is a wider range of perspectives and ideas to draw upon. 


3. Lack of resources and support for innovation

Innovation requires resources and support in order to be successful. Without sufficient resources and support, it can be difficult to bring new ideas to fruition, which can ultimately hinder the overall success of your innovation efforts.

For example, consider the case of Blockbuster. As the video rental market shifted to streaming, Blockbuster failed to invest in the resources and support needed to innovate and adapt. In fact, Blockbuster turned down a deal to purchase Netflix and thereby invest in the innovative technology that could have put its business ahead. Ultimately, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2010.

To avoid this mistake, it's important to allocate sufficient resources and support to your innovation efforts. This includes financial resources, such as budget for research and development, as well as non-financial resources, such as time and talent. It's also important to establish clear channels of communication and collaboration to ensure that ideas can be easily shared and developed.


Innovation is a crucial element of any successful business, but it is not without its challenges. By avoiding these common innovation management mistakes, your company’s efforts will be able to drive long-term growth in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

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