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Finding Future Value in Discarded Innovation Ideas: Innovation Sustainability

Posted by Joe Antle on September 26, 2020 11:20 AM EDT
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Most innovation projects fall short of their initial aspirations and produce...

...results that are not aligned with the financial, strategic and organizational advancement requirements set for them by corporate or nonprofit senior leadership.  These projects often are thrown onto the scrap pile and ignored as "failures"....sometimes serving as examples of why pursuing big ideas is wasteful and a violation of the organization's leadership principles based on short-term financial or strategic success.

Like many items in the physical world, most do not become part of a sustainability effort or are not recycled to reapply key aspects in other areas of opportunity.  Pragmatic, smart, committed and loyal managers very often simply lack the willingness to rethink and repurpose promising aspects of failed projects due to their bias to forget what didn't work and to move on by not wasting further time, resources and talent on innovative ideas which failed. 

The great challenge and opportunity in the future will be to apply lessons from our physical world and from other endeavors large and small, personal and organizational, to extract from failed innovation initiatives, the essence of important potential ingredients for future projects.  This idea of categorizing, cataloguing and repurposing discoveries from failed innovations and recasting them as key elements of new ones may very well be an important new aspect of innovation deployment. 

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