Innovation work can be a roller coaster filled with peaks and valleys. It is a dynamic process that often demands more than it gives. In this post, we delve into the world of innovation and explore the challenges faced by those who initiate creative ideas.
Despite significant contributions, idea generators often find themselves undervalued and struggling with a large set of obstacles.
Before the innovation work started
Just as innovation begins to materialize, the first idea carrier embarks on a journey involving visionary persuasion. This phase involves presenting future ideas that do not yet exist, similar to a sales pitch. But this effort to get others to buy into the idea is not without challenges.
Convincing stakeholders to embrace something new can be an uphill battle, as it requires pushing boundaries and thinking beyond what exists now.
In order to gather support for the implementation of an innovation, it is important to ensure the commitment of all individuals necessary to realize the idea. Even this task is not always so simple. It often involves persuading others to invest their time and effort in something that may initially seem daunting, unfamiliar, and outside the scope of their usual responsibilities.
The creative work
The heart of innovation arises from the passionate people who drive the creative process. These individuals take on the role of visionaries, inspiring and motivating others to contribute to the innovation journey. They often wear many hats that involve everything from staying focused on the problem to keeping an eye on the ever-changing external landscape. Their responsibilities extend beyond logical thinking – they often find themselves resolving team conflicts and even brewing coffee to keep the creativity flowing.
The participants in the innovation process obviously have to work hard to create innovation. But when challenges arise in the innovation process – and they always do – it is usually the original innovator who pushes forward, offers new perspectives and steers the ship forward.
After innovation success
After the innovation has come to life, the individuals who helped bring the idea to life feel like they are the ones who did all the work. They have solved so many things along the way that they forgot who came up with the initial idea and who directed the innovation effort. This can lead to a great need for confirmation for the implementers but nothing at all for the original idea creator. In many cases, the implementers are thanked as the true innovators, leaving the first idea creator in the dark.
It is important to recognize the creators of the idea as well. They take on the formidable task of convincing others to embrace the unknown, and their vision fuels the creativity that drives innovation forward. Otherwise, the risk is that they will not be able to create innovation again.
Although their contributions may sometimes go unnoticed or underestimated, innovators often learn the complexity of the journey and enjoy the work of the idea creator and the collaboration that is so important to innovation.
Innovation is a team sport and success depends on the synergy between those who create ideas, spark creativity and those who realize the innovation. So the next time you witness the birth of a breakthrough idea or see an innovation come to life, remember to give credit to the visionaries too – the pioneers who dared to dream beyond the boundaries of convention.