Want to kill a good innovative idea?
Analyze it in some obviously logical yet inappropriate way.
It would be murder but you are unlikely to get caught.
When thinking about this I always remember an old accounting example where we try to help the owner of a diner decide if it would be a good idea to add a rack of snacks to his cash wrap. By working with $/foot and other wonderfully useful tools we prove that it would be an unprofitable innovation. Of course that ignores the fact that the snacks were add-on sales – wrong analysis, lost opportunity.
Umar Hamique presents a great list of ways to inappropriately analyze innovative ideas. Traps you can easily fall into because the methods are logical, but the results are disastrous due to strategic and other circumstances that require a more open. Great quote of the piece: “The fundamental error is simple, managing is more than counting…”
What is clear, is that with a clear strategic focus you can measure the importance of innovation to your future in ways that go well beyond the immediate bottom line.
Killed any good ideas lately?