The process of innovation is not always smooth. It often requires a specific environment to be in place so the people involved are encouraged, as well as enabled, to generate ideas freely – ideas that can truly propel projects forward. The right tools must also be in place for the innovative process to offer as much value as possible.  

Innovation is a major factor in terms of organizational growth and success. Generating a culture of innovation in your company is a critical initiative today but despite this, many businesses combat internal challenges that slow the innovative process. Below are 5 common challenges of innovation in business today.  

Missed Innovation Strategy 

One of the most important elements of taking your organization from an emerging newcomer to an established brand, is your company’s innovation strategy. Constant innovation enables your business to remain constantly proactive rather than reactive. An innovation strategy helps to define the direction of innovation and the implementation of operations. Without an innovation strategy in place, your organization may be missing the mark, and a misalignment of your innovation efforts is a risk you are taking. 

Employees are Not Motivated or Empowered 

A number of managers erroneously believe that innovation will prove to be more of a hindrance than a help in the company when it comes to employees focus, fearing that innovation will distract them from their daily duties. As a result, employees are not empowered to innovate. Employees need the freedom to take risks and/or try new ideas but this internal innovation cannot be accomplished without the support of managers and other leadership.  

When employees do feel empowered, they also need motivation. Employee motivation for the sake of innovation can come in many forms, including contests, incentive programs for inventors or simply time set aside for unstructured employee innovation.  

Innovation Takes Place in One Group Alone 

Many organizations delegate the role of innovation to one functional group, such as product development or research & development. Some fall into the myth that the most innovative ability lies in one functional group which is a hindrance to organizational innovation. Each department within an organization offers unique perspectives on problems. By failing to adequately use all of the resources in an organization, leaders who opt for tasking only one functional group with the role of innovation are at risk of losing out on truly successful organizational innovation. 

Lack of Collaboration 

The key to innovation is collaboration – both internally and externally. Customers, industry partners and competitors can all be put to use to drive a company’s innovation forward in the industry. 

Missed Customer Connections 

Customer feedback is incredibly important when it comes to innovative success. Customer empathy is a must-have for all businesses in order to truly understand changes in demand, while reaching for the goal to meet future trends. Stay on top of listening for customer feedback and you will find an organizational roadmap for problems that need to be solved next. 

If you want your organization to be successful in the long-term, innovation is crucial. Remain aware of the challenges and plan for them while working against these challenges of innovation in business.