Why is Innovation Execution So Hard?

Why is Innovation Execution So Hard?

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 :

  1. Leaderpreneurship, i.e. those who lead innovators and not manage innovation systems.
  2. Followers with an entrepreneurial mindset. Here's how to find GSD Club members.
  3. Communication skills.
  4. Project management skills.
  5. A dog that will eat the food.
  6. People skills and emotional intelligence.
  7. A culture of innovation.
  8. Incentives to fail and persist.
  9. Acceptance of anything not invented here.
  10. Ways to track relevant key performance indicators, results, timelines and deliverables along the stages of development.
  11. Poor teamwork.
  12. Insufficient engagement of those who will ultimately be affected by the proposed solution and have to use it and incorporate it into their workflow.
  13. A VAST business model.
  14. A champion.
  15. 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

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  • Karen Isabella

    It's hard to innovate nowadays because nobody is willing to try a new idea or experiment on a bigger level.

  • Neil Wormy

    Today's business landscape is based on immediate results...

  • Janna Banks

    Thanks for the explanation

  • Dale Chavez

    Yeah really makes sense !!

  • Bruce Larson

    Still waiting for the next ground breaking innovation in health care.

  • Arlen Meyers

    In reply to: Bruce Larson

    Look for it at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

  • Phil Edwards

    Good read

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at www.sopenet.org. He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at www.bridgehealth.com and www.cliexa.com and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at www.globalminded.org, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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