The term innovation can sometimes bring forth a sense of dread as it usually leads to change, and change can be scary. Who knows what the future holds when you change things up from your normal routine? But change is an important piece of growth for your company, and innovation is the match to light that fire.
Often times asking a provoking question can serve as a greater catalyst of innovation than providing the right answer. The right question can be a disruptive agent, cutting through years of complacency to redirect a team or a company’s focus. It serves as a pointer, aiming us in the direction of the answer. Our end result of course is to make sure it positively affects your bottom line. In fact according to a Forbes article, “Are You Asking the Right Question?,” it cited that asking the right question increased the odds of someone’s work having a positive effect on others by 4.1 times. It made the outcome 3.1 times more likely to be deemed important, 2.8 times more likely to create passion in the doer, and perhaps most significant to company leaders, 2.7 times more likely to make a positive impact on the organization’s bottom line. Who doesn’t want that? Asking the right questions is only the start. Sustaining innovation to create real value at scale—the only kind of innovation that has a significant financial impact—is hard. It opens other factors that we need to be aware of and plan for strategically. Here are my top three factors/obstacles: