The Three Dont’s of Innovation

In his book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Peter Drucker presented how innovation and entrepreneurship can be a purposeful and systematic discipline. That discipline is still as relevant to today’s business environment as when the book was published back in 1985. The book explains the challenges faced by many organizations and analyzes the opportunities which can be leveraged for success.

In the book, Peter Drucker discussed the Do’s and Dont’s of fostering innovation. In the previous post, we outlined the critical imperatives that need to be done.

Here are the few important “dont’s” according to Drucker.

  1. Don’t try to be too clever.

We need to account for the error margin when our fellow human teammates execute our innovation. Incompetence is abundant and everywhere. Innovation that is too clever for most people to grasp fully will likely fail.

  1. Don’t diversify, don’t splinter, don’t try to do too many things at once.

Doing this will not only support the notion of “Effective innovation is also a focused effort on a specific need or a specific result,” but also avoid the trap of having an innovation become diffused.

When we try to do too much all at once, we stray from the core of the innovation. Innovation needs the concentrated energy of a unified effort behind it. The people who execute the innovation also need to revolve their effort around a central core, which can be easily imperiled by diversity and splintering.

  1. Don’t try to innovate for the future.

We need to focus our innovative effort on the present and to make an impact for the people today. It is simply not practical for most people to aim their innovation for the mass at a time way in the distance. That is too grandiose.

If our innovation can solve problems and make noticeable impacts for some people today, that is where we should focus our effort. As Drucker noted in the book, “Very few of us have Leonardo’s genius and can expect that our notebooks alone will assure immortality.”