As an innovation leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that innovation takes place. This means that you must be prepared to take risks and at the same time minimize them. Simply putting all resources into a single idea is rarely the best strategy.
Instead, it requires you to balance multiple ideas at once, even if it can feel challenging at times. An outstanding innovation leader has the ability to switch between different idea tracks and drive them all forward.
Let’s use rolling balls as an analogy for ideas on the way to innovation. See before you several balls rolling towards the goal, which is to realize the ideas and achieve the highest creative height in your innovations.
How Many Rolling Balls Can You Handle?
Considering ideas as balls that you roll towards the goal helps us understand that innovation often requires you to invest in several ideas at the same time. Innovation is rarely a straight line, and it is impossible to predict which idea will succeed. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of projects that require your management, but the ability to manage multiple projects is critical to maintaining a continuous pace of innovation. The more balls you can roll forward, the more innovation you can generate. This may seem paradoxical, given that focus is usually a key component of success. But when it comes to innovation, both focus and the ability to quickly change focus are required.
The Odd Balls Are the Most Interesting
Ideas that do not arouse interest rarely have the potential to be innovative. If an idea does not seem to be on the way to great heights of innovation, you can try to increase its level of innovation, reverse the direction, or even delegate the tasks and focus on the ideas that excel in some way.
All Balls Don’t Roll at the Same Rate
As you push ideas forward, some will move faster than others. It may be because some ideas are better, more understandable, have better names, or the timing is right in relation to prevailing circumstances. Be observant when certain balls start spinning faster and give them extra attention so you don’t become the one slowing them down.
Push All Rolling Balls
Developing ideas need constant encouragement. The understanding that you cannot handle everything yourself makes you grateful when others help. Show your gratitude and create an atmosphere of collaboration that drives ideas forward. Also, keep in mind that some ideas can be difficult to understand, which means you need to encourage them even if other ideas get more attention.
A Big Ball Rolls Slower
Sometimes an idea requires a lot of people to be involved, and that can slow the ball down. Here, it is important to pay extra attention to obstacles that arise and quickly remove them. You also need to be vigilant to ensure that the ball doesn’t suddenly start rolling in a different direction.
Some balls roll by themselves
Good ideas tend to attract interest and commitment from others. Sometimes others take the initiative and start pushing the ideas forward. In such cases, you can sit back and observe how things develop. However, don’t forget to give praise and encouragement when needed. However, if you see that the ideas are going in the wrong direction, you should intervene.
Let Balls Stop
Sometimes ideas lose their momentum. This may be because the people involved need to prioritize other tasks, that they encounter intractable problems or that the timing is no longer right. It is important to be able to accept the situation and let these ideas stay if there are other ideas that keep moving forward.
Leave Balls Rolling Down into a Hole
Sometimes ideas come to a sudden halt. This may be due to technical obstacles that cannot be overcome with available resources, that someone else has come up with a superior solution, or that the idea has lost its relevance in the light of new ways of solving the same problem. It is important to be able to accept this and leave such ideas behind. There are always other ideas that can provide energy and are worth investing in.
Stop Scrolling If It Stresses You
Pushing multiple ideas forward can be stressful. Not all people are capable of handling ten large projects at once. Many people need time and concentration to feel comfortable with a task. Find ways to quickly switch between the complexities of different ideas. For example, use mind mapping to quickly get an overview of a complex idea when you were recently working on something else.
Create strategies to be able to switch focus quickly, or reduce the number of ideas you are handling if it becomes too overwhelming. Burning yourself out does nothing to move forward.
Good luck shoveling the balls, sorry – the ideas, in front of you.