Healthy business always keeps a track of its pressures. Some pressures are external like  customer complains and some internal like efficiency issues and etc. One of the powerful tools to lower the amount of most pressures are innovation. But in reality bringing the innovation into business isn’t easy. Innovations fail, sometimes succeed and other times partly succeed but creates additional problems. Also every innovation comes in a package with some pain. And yes it’s pain it’s not discomfort. Pain is hard to measure but it can be grouped:

  • Pain of unclarity – Clearly communicating ideas and strategies. Followed by actions required by the key people is crucial. Keeping people updated results to less questions asked. Innovation might be more important to some people than for others. And they would love to get the updates even if something is going wrong. Overall clarity comes when key people can tell you why it’s done and how it will effect them.
  • Pain of additional work – there is always that period of transition. During this time the innovation is not done yet but old things are still in use. It takes some time to perfect changes in business. This creates additional work. And it’s a pain.
  • Pain of re-doing – this pain affects both innovators and people affected by innovation. To prefect all the changes needed takes time. But more often than it should be the delivery of innovation is rushed. To make it work, changes needs to be done. This creates situations there some amount of work needs to be re-done.
  • Pain of complexity – simple fact, people love simple things. Complex presentation shown to kick off the innovation project can simply scare people. And scared people will fight back or try to avoid your project if possible. Make it as simple and clear as you can. Simplicity might not bring all the people on broad but at least they will not be negative about it.

Question pops up into mind. How most innovative companies like Google, Amazon, Intel, AMD and others keeps up with all this pain? Turns out innovators takes the most of pain so who ever innovation is for don’t have to. This is one way of pain distribution across the business. Best innovators has very big tolerance for pain. This helps businesses to stay innovative.

Up to this point we looked only into “good” pain. If gone trough, it gives results. And usually vey good results. This could be compared to successful diet and gym routine. It’s hard at the beginning. But if you keep pushing results are very encouraging to continue. But there exist “bad” pain.

This type of pain comes into play after a lot of work is done. And decision is made to drop it all or change it drastically. Usually this happens because something was overlooked or something drastically changes that wasn’t taken into a account before. To take the frustration of the people best action for business would be to present a clear plan how it will be managed and what are the steps. This shows, people managing the innovation is prepared. Just canceling the innovation project or suspending it without clear communication will only create angry rumours.

Innovation is self can be as simple as a little tweak in process and as complex as changing entire business structure. Pain will come together with innovation in many forms and it’s not avoidable. Deeply understanding these pains and managing them well will increase success rate of any innovation. Not managing it usually is more costly that it could look at first.