If innovation starts with mindset and practicing entrepreneurial habits, it will end without proper execution. By now you have probably heard these quotes about execution or have an aspirational poster of one in your employee lounge posted next to your company mission statement.
Turning an idea into an innovation is a hard, arduous journey whether you are an intrapreneur - an employee trying to act like an entrepreneur- a philanthropreneur, or some other kind of entrepreneur e.g someone trying to get an idea to patients by creating a medical device or a digital health solution. The result is that the vast majority of ideas go down the drain during your morning shower and never see the light of day, perennial hostages of your mind.
Why is it so hard to execute? Generally, because there is a lack of :
- Leaderpreneurship, i.e. those who lead innovators and not manage innovation systems.
- Followers with an entrepreneurial mindset. Here's how to find GSD Club members.
- Communication skills.
- Project management skills.
- A dog that will eat the food.
- People skills and emotional intelligence.
- A culture of innovation.
- Incentives to fail and persist.
- Acceptance of anything not invented here.
- Ways to track relevant key performance indicators, results, timelines and deliverables along the stages of development.
- Poor teamwork.
- Insufficient engagement of those who will ultimately be affected by the proposed solution and have to use it and incorporate it into their workflow.
- A VAST business model.
- A champion.
- Strategic and tactical alignment.
Moving an idea to an invention to an improvement or innovation, or somewhere else on the novelty-value matrix, requires that you identify all the above barriers and figure how to fill the gaps to overcome them. Otherwise, you will be stuck in project or pilot purgatory, practicing innovation theater spewing innovaganda (innovation fake news) dying a swift, merciful death on the executioner's block.
Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD.