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  Six Innovation Pain Points and How to Overcome Them 

Tietz, Matthias A.; Wong, Matthew A.; Rao, Jay; Chuán, Fran; Weintraub, Joseph
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When it comes to innovation, the gap between intentions and reality can be huge. Ask any C-suite executive and they will likely tell you that having an organizational culture of innovation is a key goal for their business. Yet the number that actually succeed in establishing such a culture and making it a reflexive part of their thinking and acting is surprisingly few. Why? One reason is that, on the way to building that innovation culture, managers do not fully involve those at the frontline of innovation: their employees.

Listen to your employees more! That is the overarching advice we take from research we have conducted on this issue. For many organizations, the process of fostering a culture of innovation can be painful. Through our research, we have identified six main pain points that companies frequently experience, which we highlight in this article. In exploring their causes and consequences, we suggest some practical steps that executives and managers can take to identify and overcome their own barriers to innovation, all of which involve listening to employees. The frustrations they articulate may well reveal the impediments to innovative action that you may not see.

Six Pain Points
To understand the challenges of designing and establishing a successful innovation culture, we asked more than 20,000 employees of 140 firms how it worked in their respective organizations. We conducted quantitative and qualitative analyses, focusing in particular on two open-ended questions from our questionnaire: (1) what respondents thought their enterprise did well in terms of innovation; and (2) what needed to be improved in their enterprise in terms of innovation. Based on what they told us, we were able to identify six key pain points that often impede progress.

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This article is based on:  Six Innovation Pain Points and How to Overcome Them
Publisher:  IESE
Year:  2018
Language:  English