All companies the world over have had to create backups, for as long as time has existed. There were carbon copies, then paper copies, then microfilms, then digital copies, then the cloud. Each new way of backing up was a type of innovation, but they were also all flawed. For some, this was the paradox of innovation: new things are tried but none really work. Thankfully, it now seems that innovation management software can help beat this problem.
Why Backup Systems Have Always Been Flawed
If you were to ask an individual to describe a process that was totally unreliable and highly likely to fail, they would usually come up with the following.
- Individuals who are never rewarded for the things they do right, but always punished for things going wrong.
- Measuring success is virtually impossible, or can only be measured when it’s too late.
- A process that runs when people aren’t paying attention to it.
- Repetitive and tedious work that is hard to automate.
- Work done by the lowest ranking person in the hierarchy and nothing they would ever write on their resume.
What this describes is a backup system, surprisingly enough.
How Innovation Management Software Can Change This
Things get more interesting when you ask an individual to describe the worst person they can come up with to lead on innovation. They will generally describe someone who:
- Doesn’t have direct customer involvement.
- Cares about internal politics and career advancement.
- Doesn’t like risks.
- Is driven by performance reports.
- Like hierarchy.
- Thinks they are good at anticipating needs and wants.
- Are resistant to change and inflexible, but are very decisive.
- Do not admit to their mistake and never rectify them.
- Think through deduction.
- Will usually say no first.
- Demand KPIs, projections, and other such success measures.
In other words, when asking someone who would be the worst at leading on an innovation process, the average individual would describe… the average manager. And this is where innovation management software makes everything better. Because innovation management software isn’t a general manager. And it also isn’t a backup system, despite actually functioning as both.
A good piece of innovation management software is owned by the people. They are the ones who can input whatever they want, and they can express their opinion on whatever they want. There are no KPIs, there is no hierarchy, and it is owned by people who know every element of the organization, from senior management to the cleaning staff. It also keeps a record of things, and it is a record of involvement. This is not something that some lowly placed individual who has nothing else to do learns to press buttons for. This is a system that automatically records discussions, interactions, and actions.
Innovation management software does what no other form of automation, and no other manager, has ever been able to do before: it actually makes innovation possible. And in so doing, it makes everything else better as well.