9 indicators that your innovation program is failing

9 indicators that prove your innovation program is failing and 13 actions to make it successful today.

Who is this guide for?

9 out of 10 corporate innovation programs fail. So bad.

This playbook gives you 9 sentences you should never hear in a corporate innovation program and 13 solutions you can apply today to make it successful.

5 examples from this guide.

1. go agile to create a direct contact with client for your team.

Your product developers and engineers and sales and customer service have no contact? -> The innovative solution doesn’t match customer expectations. Oh man, another unhappy customer.

Buddy up an internal project manager with a sales rep and evaluate them as a team as agile organizations do.

slidedeck about how and why to go agile

2. choose cross-departmental funds.

Managers have their own KPI’s and growth objectives. If Manager X decides to invest in an innovation program (e.g. Innovation Accelerator) to create new disruptive revenue streams for his Business unit, the ideas will be created around those objectives. Now imagine one of the accelerator teams realizing that they should pivot away from the original scope to keep a viable idea relevant for the company as a whole. Few managers will allow the team to pivot in a way that another business unit takes all the revenues.

Slidedeck about the added value of cross departmental funds

3. Create a Lab environment where failure is part of the game.

Killing projects is a hard thing to do for both managers and project teams. Why? Firstly, it transforms all investments in the project into costs. Secondly, all the people involved will have to accept that they failed and let go of the project. Lastly, it’s a challenge to know when a team tried everything possible to make a project work.

Create sidetracks for innovation projects (e.g. Labs, Accelerators, Boot-Camps, Pressure cookers, Hackathons, etc.) that allow intrapreneurs to pitch their results and call to action directly to key decision makers, possibly top-management.

slidedeck about the creation of a lab environment where failure is part of the game


Don’t get us wrong here. It takes decades to build a good company reputation and it should be protected! What we want to tackle is how risk managers and corporate communication departments of any type of experiment with clients involved. The main issue is the difference in both mindset and context understanding of lean startup type experiments. Both risk manager and intrapreneur will have to meet in the middle.

Framing the context of experiments and immature services is key. You won’t disappoint your current customers, and you’ll make the early adopters amazingly happy.

if it is a beta, say it out loud

5. Taking inspiration is not copying.

Don’t see smart copying as ‘stealing’; see it as being inspired by others. The more you copy what works, the better your offering will be. If you like this idea, feel free to download our analogy cards for free and start copying business concepts like an artist.

slidedeck about analogy thinking and smart copying

9 indicators that your innovation program is failing

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