Organizing for innovation

3 Biggest Mistakes and the 3 Secrets of Success

Recently, for the Lex Mundi T4 Challenge, I gave a presentation in which I shared the 3 biggest mistakes and the 3 secrets of success when bringing an idea to practice.

These biggest mistakes and secrets of success are simple to summarize in a table.

Unfortunately, I know from first-hand experience how oh-so-easy it is to fall into these traps. I certainly like to dream big and am always tempted to set way too ambitious goals. And when I am enthusiastic about an idea or project, I simply cannot stop talking about it!

In the early days of Organizing4Innovation, I was 100% convinced that I put the client front and center. However, in hindsight, I didn't. I was more busy doing what I liked to do than being concerned about the support our clients truly needed.

In the video, I provide tips on how to avoid these common mistakes.

3 biggest mistakes

  1. Make the project too ambitious

  2. Talk & plan instead of listen & do

  3. Forget to keep the client front & center

3 secrets to success

  1. Secure buy-in from all stakeholders

  2. Maintain momentum   [blanco text]

  3. Focus on the benefits    [blanco text]

To get a good grasp of what these mistakes and secrets to success imply, I recommend watching the Lex Mundi video below, in which I provide a few helpful examples. You want to avoid these mistakes and I suggest that you try to take advantage of the secrets to success that I have learned over the years from helping many innovation teams and entrepreneurs.

Secure buy-in from all stakeholders

The importance of buy-in from all stakeholders is a recurring theme in all my research. Large samples or small case studies, it does not matter. Getting buy-in from all stakeholders, including your team members and seniors in the organizations comes out as a critical success factor each and every time.

Maintain momentum

I became aware of the importance of momentum when we started to closely track the teams in our T4 program, like the 10 law firm innovation teams that we closely tracked over a period of 6 months last year. Successful teams accelerated their pace and got energy out working on their projects. It is not that these successful projects did not hit roadblocks or did not face challenging times. However, with sufficient momentum, roadblocks and other hurdles are much easier to take. Not surprisingly, for teams that lacked momentum when hitting a roadblock, their innovation project quickly became an energy drain. I don't know about you, but I don't want to waste time on energy-draining projects. I therefore strongly recommend that you only invest your time in innovation projects that make you thrive.

Focus on the benefits

Lastly, focussing on the benefits is something I learned from sitting in many ICAP sessions taught by dear friend and mentor Bob Smith from The George Washington University. It is all too easy to confuse features and benefits. It is also all too easy to assume that your clients need something, while in reality, they are happily thriving without.

By the way, when you hover over the blue dots at the bottom of the video, you can see how the video is divided into chapters to make it easy to jump to the sections that are relevant to you.

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