5 ways to beat innovation barriers

by | Nov 26, 2012

Lack of a quantifiable return on innovation investment can be frustrating. The greatest ideas can be met with organizational bottlenecks within a company that block the path forward.

Global financial firm Citi introduced a highly disruptive new business idea for a key banking franchise. The idea blended new technology, was user-friendly and strengthened the links between banker and client.

However, some of the problems Citi encountered included acquiring funding and approval, deploying the technology and training staff.

A Chief Bottleneck Buster was appointed to help smooth the way ahead. Here are their solutions.

This image shows hurdles, depicting the hurdles represented by innovation barriers

1. Focus on doing less

The team scored short-term goals by feeding less through the constrained system. Whittle down the best ideas to, say, a top 10

2. Identify the worst bottlenecks

The team tracked down the worst roadblocks, which were IT and the company’s regulatory framework.

3. Make early tradeoffs

One small part of the new technology was developed and introduced, rather than rolling out the entire new system initially. This created something tangible that could be presented to the powers that be.

4. Measure bottleneck utilisation

By monitoring each hurdle, the team was able to see which bottlenecks were long-standing and responded accordingly.

5. Outsource if necessary

Third parties were brought on board to help determine the major roadblocks and the importance in investing in future internal innovation processes. Outside parties must be in sync with the company’s processes and goals.

The article is available here.

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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