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Why Relying Only on Processes Can Hinder Innovation Adoption

Innovation is a popular topic, and many business leaders are looking for ways to adopt innovative practices at all levels of their organizations. Over the years, new frameworks and standards have emerged that claim to offer solutions that simplify adoption by controlling uncertainty through clearly defined processes and metrics. However, in practice, these frameworks or standards often fall short. In this article, I will share my thoughts on adopting innovation and why relying too heavily on processes and metrics can be counterproductive.


Processes and metrics are useful

First and foremost, it is crucial to understand that in today's business environment, processes are a cornerstone of any successful organization. Without clear and defined processes, it can be incredibly challenging to accomplish even the simplest tasks, let alone complicated ones. Additionally, metrics also play an equally critical role in any organization. However, finding the perfect processes and metrics can be challenging, especially on the first attempt.


Every organization has its own unique context

Copying and pasting a process from one organization to another is a poor strategy because it fails to account for contextual factors that shape each organization. These factors, including people, business models, markets, technologies, priorities, and others, vary from one organization to another, even within the same sector or country. Therefore, it is essential to tailor any approach to suit each organization's unique context, especially when defining a process for managing innovation.


Avoid the trap of relying solely on processes

Be cautious of frameworks or standards that promise faster and better results simply by deploying new organizational processes and metrics. Although they may have worked for other organizations, there is no guarantee they will work for yours. While using a plug-and-play strategy to transform an organization may be tempting to save time and money, most do not deliver what they advertise.


Start small, measure, and evolve your approach

A better approach is to test frameworks, processes, standards, and metrics in a small, controlled initiative. If they work, continue with them; if not, adapt and change accordingly. Based on my experience, your chances of success will increase if your primary target is discovering the best strategy to adopt innovation rather than focusing solely on deploying processes. Remember that your organization is unique, so your approach to adopting innovation should also be unique.

Avoid the trap of relying only on processes

In conclusion, avoid the trap of relying only on the processes recommended by a framework or standard to adopt innovation in your organization. Instead, use them as a starting point to discover what strategies work best for you. Test these strategies quickly and without expending a huge budget, then measure your results. If necessary, change your strategy and repeat the process until you find what your organization requires.

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