We’ve all heard it – innovation is the lifeblood of any business. Innovation may be hard to manage (as discussed in Forbes), but it’s not impossible.
Companies have to choose wisely when spending time, money, and resources on innovation. This may even mean saying “no” to great ideas in order to focus on the best growth opportunities. But be careful what you say no to. In the 90’s, Microsoft invented a Google Earth-like program called Terraserver. It was an innovation that could have helped Microsoft to “remain the world’s most important internet company well into the 21st century”. However, it was only viewed internally as a tool to showcase the firm’s database-engine capabilities.
In the process of selecting high potential ideas, companies may miss a truly great new business. Unfortunately, Microsoft may have missed more than one (e.g. mobile operating system, search engine, email, and browser).
Are you saying “no” to ideas that could help you grow your business or even slow the growth of a competitor?