The seven sins of innovation: a Strategic model for Entrepreneurship

The seven sins of innovation: a Strategic model for Entrepreneurship

Reality bites

Success rates across all types of human enterprise are low, and failing to improve:

  • Innovation success rates are generally below 10%, and even when venture capitalists are carefully monitoring their investments, less than a third of innovations succeed. The vast majority (96%) of innovation efforts fail to beat their ROI targets (Doblin Group, 2005, 2012).
  • The majority of enterprises report dissatisfaction with innovation performance (Arthur D. Little, 2013).
  • Three-quarters of the CEOs of multinationals view external collaborative innovation as vitally important, but only half do it, and they only rate themselves as doing it “moderately well” (IBM, 2006).
  • Eight out of ten new enterprises fail within 18 months (Wagner, 2013).
  • Two-thirds of organizational “change” efforts fail (Kotter, 2008).
  • Most marketing investments don’t deliver desired results – “95 percent of what we’re doing doesn’t work” (Pritchard, 2011).
  • Only a minority of innovative ideas ever see the light of day and successful commercialization, even within leading innovators such as 3M and Google.
  • Most enterprises don’t achieve sustainable competitive differentiation and advantage.
  • Mature businesses often struggle to maintain “the love,” growth, and relevance.

The public sector isn’t making enough progress in efforts to do more with less, even with input from highly successful private sector entrepreneurs and change agents. We’re facing a global crisis in youth unemployment, potentially creating a generation that’s economically left behind – a lack of job creation that is arguably a failure of entrepreneurship.

In fact, mediocre results plague all sectors of human enterprise.

What can be done?

The root cause: human nature

In this book, I will put forward the case that the root cause of enterprise mediocrity is human psychology. Seven specific aspects of human nature conspire to undermine efforts to succeed in enterprises of all kinds. These factors are the key determinants of success and failure. The determinants interact multiplicatively, such that if someone is theoretically perfect  (100%) on six factors, but weak (say 10%) on the seventh, the overall result would be poor:

100% x 100% x 100% x 100% x 100% x 100% x 10% = 10%

Of course, overall enterprise results are based on much more complex interactions of individual psychologies, but the overall phenomenon is the same – a drift toward mediocrity based on the weakest links, the poor performers and other deficiencies that drag the whole enterprise down.

Depressed? You should be. But my message isn’t one of doom and gloom.

A new model: strategic bridging

This book delivers a double breakthrough in understanding:

  1. How to drive, manifest, and nurture entrepreneurship in organizations based on understanding entrepreneurial psychology.
  2. How to maximize innovation success by making it the heart of strategy, based on a powerfully improved framework for bridging the “soft stuff ” of psychology and culture with the “hard stuff ” of peak performance and bottom line results (Figure 1.1).

Unlike existing prescriptions for strategy, innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship, and success, this book provides fresh new perspectives and rich insights based on explicitly focusing strategy on innovation, and tackling the vital problem of how to engage the core aspects of human psychology to maximize personal and organizational entrepreneurial potential and results. For organizations, the key is to create entrepreneurial cultures focused on implementing strategic innovation agendas. The purpose of this book is to show you how to increase success rates for your efforts to innovate, create sustainable advantage and potential for value creation, and therefore achieve a more valuable entity than one in which a single entrepreneur or a small entrepreneurial group is the core driver.

seven sins of innovation


Specific insights related to aspects of psychology

The model provides specific insights and recommendations in seven areas:

  1. How individual and group psychology must be managed effectively to create entrepreneurial cultures capable of peak performance and powerful innovation.
  2. How to maximize creativity, and develop ideas from concept to reality, driving transformational enterprise improvements.
  3. How to lead the innovation process, making the right investments of resources and empowering them to achieve sustainable innovation leadership and advantage.
  4. How to engage stakeholders in win–win collaborative partnerships, to create powerful business models delivering and manifesting shared value.
  5. How to formulate powerful communications, marketing, and sales strategies, feeding enterprise intelligence and driving competitive success and growth.
  6. How to formulate a strategic vision based on intelligence and insights, achieving the right balance between audacious dreams and evolving realities.
  7. How to engage entrepreneurial spirit and passions toward the fulfillment of strategic purpose, the highest calling that may be applicable for any organization or individual.

What follows

Now that we’ve discussed why a strategic model for entrepreneurship and innovation is needed, the rest defines the various relationships or bridges that require attention, and offer much needed clarity and definitions of the key concepts of innovation, value, and entrepreneurship. The core aspects of the human psyche and entrepreneurial spirit are defined, and related to the critical elements of organizational strategy – the critical success factors for leading innovation.

The full copy of the sample chapter “The Seven Sins of innovation: a strategic model for entrepreneurship” is available in a pdf file below.

The Seven Sins of Innovation: a Strategic model for Entrepreneurship – sample chapter

“The Seven Sins of Innovation elevates the thinking on this crucial subject to the highest level. It sets the author’s book alongside the best writing on this subject anywhere”. – Roger H. D. Lacey, former CSO and SVP 3M

David Richards
Successful track record encompassing startups to multinationals, across commercial, charitable and public sectors. Extensive experience leading massive business growth, game changing breakthrough innovations, profound cultural transformations, world changing international R&D programs, and strategies that achieved global competitive leadership. Interested in serving causes or enterprises that will make the world a better place through entrepreneurial innovation. David facilitates the creation and success of innovative strategies based on a rare combination of experience plus wide and deep exposure to global thought leaders and cutting-edge best practice.

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