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Guilty of innovation pitfalls?

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In Blueprints for Innovation, Prather and Gundry list five pitfalls to innovation. If you're trying to change a process, create a new product or service, or get your team to think in new ways, check out this list of pitfalls. Are you guilty of letting any of them hold you back? Be honest with yourself. Ask others their perspective.

  1. Working on the wrong problem. You may be expending too much energy on something minor or even something that only you see as an issue.
  2. Judging ideas too quickly. There could be a "nugget" buried within a thought and you'll miss it if you're evaluating rather than really listening.
  3. Stopping with the first good idea. When you explore a variety of ideas, you can more carefully analyze, bring key thoughts to the top, blend the best of the best, and chart the path to innovation.
  4. Failure to get a sponsor. You can do few things in isolation, and innovation is dead without the support and blessing of key decision makers and influencers. Selling your idea to others is crucial to moving them forward.
  5. Obeying rules that don't exist. Know what's written in stone and what you see as true because it's always been that way. Innovation comes from those who think differently.

So what do you think? Recognize any stumbling blocks within that list to your own efforts to be more innovative? If so, focus on how you can eliminate it this week.

- Shirley Poertner

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