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Why innovation and continuous improvement fails


"I am so frustrated." The CEO told me. "We have been trying to develop a culture of ‘innovation’ and continous improvement for over 2 years now. We gave our managers a challenge. To innovate by getting their teams to develop new products, new services or new ways of adding value to our customers. Nothing happened. So we suggested that they simply improve the way they do things and get better every day."

He continued by sharing everything that they as leaders had done. They had:

  • Set up an Innovation department.
  • Developed IT systems for logging innovative ideas.
  • Identified and trained up innovation champions.
  • Set up ways of assessing ideas.
  • Set up a rewards programme for the most innovative ideas.

"So why," he vented "why has no one actually achieved anything of value or improved anything under either our innovation and continous improvement programme?"

5 Reasons why innovation and continuous improvements fail.

Here are 5 reasons why innovation and continous improvement programmes in organizations fail.

1. People don't have the time or intellectual space to think, explore and learn.

Most of us simply don't have the time or space to think - let alone innovate.


Many managers I speak to complain that up to 60% of their time is spent in meetings. The rest of their time is allocated to organizing, following up on others, responding to other's requests or writing reports.

They barely get enough time to do their own work.

If they are also expected to innovate, they try to squeeze in 'innovation' somewhere in between a number of meetings.

Innovation and thinking is part of the multi-tasking they do - slipped inbetween writing a report or following up on tasks they have delegated to others.

Read the full article on Why Innovation and continuous improvement fails.

Remove the most important barrier to innovation and continuous improvement.

One of the biggest barriers to innovation is lack of participation by enough employees. Many employees say that the reason they don't participate in an innovation or continuous improvement programme, is because they don't know what to do. Equipping employees to innovate takes a lot of coaching time. However, we have created a book that does all the heavy lifting for you. It provides the mental tools, and motivation your team will need to innovate successfully. This means you can focus your energy on simply encouraging and recognising your team, rather than coaching them.


The book "Innovate! The employees guide to innovation" is available in two formats. 

The kindle format, can be used by your team as a reference book filled with practical tools and advice - a coach in their phone. Simply get them to download a Kindle app onto their mobile phones. Then, as they work on solving problems, or making improvements, or implementing their innovative ideas, they can access the relevant mental tools from their own 'guide to innovation.' A guide that is available whenever they need it.

Or if you want to encourage, motivate or recognise people who try to innovate, give them a print version of Innovate! as a gift.

Click on the link above to go to the article, event, blog post or product mentioned in the announcement.

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