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Blog Series: Make Innovation Real <Intro>

"89% of innovation project failure comes from execution."

Biggest issue that most of innovators and thought leaders are facing lies in the reality-free planning and self-defeating people’s behavior – not collaborating with other key stakeholders. Reality-free planning doesn’t mean that it comes up without factual data, but without considering people’s willingness to execute across your business ecosystem – i.e. customers, partners, investors, developers, sales, admin, and yourself.

What’s worse, innovative ideas often break the boundary of conventional responsibility territory. Kodak film developed a digital camera earlier than others but the powerful stakeholders from Kodak’s film business unit destroyed the digital camera initiative. This is unfortunately human nature. No matter whether you belong to a large enterprise or work alone as a startup, humans identify themselves by comparing against other groups and creates sense of belongings. The organizational structure of your group defines your roles and responsibility and protects you from other groups, so the group members can live in a comfort zone, trading off loyalty with coziness.

The image on the right is called ‘Problem Cube of Innovation’. Most of planning teams and even consulting companies only focus on 'business idea and solution design'. The vital execution issues such as political conflicts, belief in the recipe of previous success, and uncertain future, arguable fact data & assumptions for decision are often intact.

Innovative projects especially in this digital era strongly requires addressing all 3 aspects together in a transparent way, not one by one. Then we can hammer down execution issues – even politics! I believe this is the key to bring innovation predictable and real.

"Methodology is just a tool like a hammer, not a solution."

How can we make innovation real and repetitive?

There is no definite answer but there is a proven successful methodology called, “ecosystem thinking”. Before talking about methodology, I’d like to remind one thing that everyone knows – methodology is just a tool like a hammer, not a solution. An experienced handyman can even build a house while the person like me can only put the photo frame on the wall with the same hammer.

The good news is that this tool is more than just a hammer. Very advanced tool which has helped over 800+ business from small start-up to fortune 500 large enterprises.Long story short, you need to make reality-based plan and seamless collaborate to execute. Which requires you as a thought leader to accomplish clarity, alignment, commitment across key stakeholders and domain expertise areas.

The ecosystem thinking methodology provides you with all the necessary aspects of planning - what to plan, how to plan, how to validate the business model, how to communicate, motivate & influence key stakeholders toward the shared vision.

The diagram above conceptually describes what to consider for “make innovation real”.

I’d like to stress out one thing. 89% of Innovation fails. Innovators have to make reality-based plans considering ‘willingness to execute’ and seamlessly collaborate with key stakeholders. Reality is that most of innovators / thought leaders don’t have luxurious time for ‘trial and error’ and not enough money to deal with delayed execution. If you are the thought leader or side hustler and you want to jump start the journey, I strongly recommend to learn and practice the methodology like this, which will give you a robust framework to accelerate your innovation project and help ensure the success.

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