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Innovation is necessary for brands to stay ahead of the competition. But not all businesses are good at innovation. Sometimes it’s difficult to see when corporate innovation is necessary. This can especially be the case when a company’s business model is working perfectly well.

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Perhaps you recognize your company’s need to innovate. But some areas of innovation require expert training from the outside. However, for smaller businesses, that can be tough to work into the budget. On the other hand, internal obstacles are often the biggest barriers to innovation. Surprisingly, it’s often not a lack of capital.

To demonstrate this point, Forbes.com describes a survey that identified top obstacles to corporate innovation. According to the survey, 55% of businesses attributed barriers to innovation to politics, turf wars, or internal misalignments. Forty-five percent cited cultural issues. Also, 42% cited an inability to prepare for the future. Only a handful cited insufficient budgets or strategy.

What’s Preventing Corporate Innovation in Your Company?

This data points to the idea that even when a business wants to innovate, internal obstacles are the hardest to overcome. There is often great resistance to change. Moreover, sometimes bringing in someone from the outside feels like a threat. Other times, the obstacle to innovation is simply a lack of vision for the future.

Is your company struggling with corporate innovation? The best remedy is to bring in someone from the outside. This can be a consultant or an entire team. It’s up to you and what you’re trying to accomplish.

Are You Struggling to Innovate?

If your company had every skill necessary to innovate, you would be able to just do it. Struggling to innovate is a sign that you need help to fill in the gaps. Moreover, it’s normal to acquire an outside perspective to create and implement innovation strategies.

If you don’t have the capital to bring in a full team, there’s another option. Many smaller businesses invest in the ongoing development of champion networks. This helps them to fill in knowledge gaps. And if you start gathering a network today, you’ll be prepared for the future.

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On the other hand, the biggest mistake you can make is thinking that you don’t need to innovate right now. This thinking could lead you to believe that there’s no need to gather a network ahead of time. However, When your current business model bumps up against its limitations, which it will, you’ll be thankful you built a knowledgeable network ahead of time.

An Outsider Will Have a Different Perspective of Your Market

The way you achieved success in the past isn’t necessarily going to bring success in the future. Markets constantly change. What’s more, if you don’t keep up, you’ll eventually be left behind. If your company’s internal structure is built around a specific business model, then your company’s life cycle is tied to the life cycle of your business model.

Every Business Model Has a Life Cycle and Corporate Innovation Bypasses Those Life Cycles

Nobody expected Airbnb to take over a large portion of the hotel industry’s business, but it happened. Uber and Lyft did the same thing to the cab industry. Facebook took over the social media scene from Myspace. These are all examples of how corporate innovation can take over a seemingly stable market. 

Failure to Innovate Can Bring Even the Giants to Their Knees

Even corporate giants who entered the market through innovation end up failing when they stop innovating. Kodak—the company that invented the digital camera—filed bankruptcy in 2012. Kodak had the opportunity to innovate but didn’t. In other words, they didn’t have the vision necessary to see where their market was headed. That’s where an outside perspective comes in handy.

Corporate Innovation Requires an Evolving Structure

Successful companies are more likely to struggle with innovation when they need to change their foundational structures. This issue, according to Forbes.com, was discovered by Harvard professors Rebecca Henderson and Kim B. Clark.

The researchers say the success of an innovation isn’t caused by whether it’s breakthrough or incremental, as most would think. What matters is whether a company can take that innovation to scale. If a breakthrough innovation doesn’t fit a company’s current structure, it’s likely to fail.

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The issue, then, is that most breakthrough innovations don’t fit a company’s structure. Therefore, the structure needs to change. This is the point where the internal obstacles start to play out.

Reach Out to External Sources

If you’re struggling with corporate innovation, reach out to a professional who can guide you. In other words, allow someone from outside your organization to make suggestions from another perspective. This will support your innovation efforts. What’s more, this type of change is necessary to survive future market changes.