6 Common Innovation Mistakes Managers Make

Innovation is essential for businesses to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive. However, many managers make common mistakes that hinder their innovation efforts.

These are some common innovation mistakes managers make and suggestions on how to avoid them.

Asking for ideas without any plan to implement them

Many managers encourage their employees to come up with ideas without having thought through how to implement them. This can lead to frustration and reduced trust among employees who come up with ideas but never see them implemented. To avoid this, managers should first develop criteria for judging ideas and create an environment receptive to new ideas.

Asking for ideas without defining the problems the organization needs to solve

It is important to define the problems that the organization needs to solve before asking everyone to come up with ideas. It helps to create targeted creativity and make the innovation process more efficient. Managers should clarify challenges and constraints based on business strategies to promote targeted innovation.

Encourage crazy ideas and then choose the risk-free ones

Managers often encourage their employees to think outside the box and come up with “the new”, but when it comes to implementation, they only choose the safer, more risk-free ideas. However, it is important to understand that a good idea should be a little crazy as it develops. Only later in the project should the financial risk-taking be assessed. Managers should assess and react to ideas differently depending on where they are in the implementation process.

Trying to find new solutions without allowing for experimentation

Testing is critical to the success of products and services, and managers should enable experimentation and prototyping to foster innovation. Managers should create labs, test environments, challenges, and other resources to enable experimentation.

Does not add resources

The most successful organizations are those that devote the most resources to innovation, and many managers fail to realize this. Breakthroughs are rarely the result of a single good idea, and resources must be devoted to developing and implementing ideas. Managers should create an environment where employees have the opportunity to come up with ideas and develop them.

Always prioritizes short-term ideas

Short-term ideas are often prioritized because they are easier to understand and trust. However, it is important to invest in both radical, transformative ideas and small improvement ideas at the same time. Managers should prioritize and allocate resources to both short-term and long-term ideas to ensure the organization’s future is secure.


In conclusion, innovation is essential for companies to stay ahead of the curve, but managers often make common mistakes that hinder their innovation efforts.

By avoiding these mistakes and creating an environment that fosters innovation, managers can ensure that their companies remain competitive and thrive over the long term.