Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 7, Number 3, 2013

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Page 28 of 43

INNOVATION CHECKLIST Successful innovation makes for good story. But people forget, or don't realize, how much failure and frustration led up to that success. "One of the dirty little secrets of innovation is that a lot of it fails," says Andi Mann, VP of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies and co-author of The Innovative CIO (Apress, 2012). Large companies sometimes live by the mantra "failure is not an option," he says, an attitude that obviously stifles innovation and creativity. Other dirty little secrets of innovation and agility: I Investing in innovation requires a different view on ROI. To spur innovation, companies need to invest money in things like skunkworks and innovation labs. These projects will run experiments, many of which will fail. While failure can be a learning experience, many business executives view it as money thrown down the drain. I Few solutions are perfect the first time, so managing expectations can be difficult. Agile innovation means developing a good-enough solution, trying it out and then iterating to improve it over time. Not everyone in the enterprise will be willing to wait patiently. I Innovation isn't always glamorous. Sometimes companies look only for the big, revolutionary ideas. What's more likely are small innovations that cumulatively improve the business. It could be as simple as a way to streamline an existing task. I Top business leaders must understand innovation and be willing to accept it. Otherwise, says Mann, "you get in a situation where the CIO is presiding over a department of frequent failure. That can be a career-limiting move." —T.H. 2013 • SMART ENTERPRISE 29

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