3 Ways to Completely Sabotage Your Innovation Strategy

September 28, 2023

In today’s rapidly evolving Canadian business landscape, innovation is a necessity for businesses, whether the organization is big, small (or anything in between). However, despite the best intentions, innovation efforts can often go awry, leading to missed opportunities and wasted resources.

Business Transformation leaders play a pivotal role in fostering innovation within their organizations. In this blog post, we’ll explore three common ways we see innovation strategies go awry. Read on for ways new business transformation/innovation leaders can avoid these pitfalls.

Importance of a Clear Vision

One of the most significant hazards in innovation strategy is the absence of a clear vision. Without a well-defined and communicated vision, your innovation efforts can quickly become disjointed and lack direction. This is especially detrimental in large businesses where the scale and complexity of operations demand a coherent innovation strategy.

How to Avoid this Common Business Transformation Pitfall:

a) Craft a Compelling Innovation Vision: Begin by articulating a clear and inspiring vision for innovation within your organization. Define what innovation means for your company and how it aligns with your long-term goals. Ensure that this vision is communicated throughout the organization, from the C-suite to frontline employees.

b) Set Concrete Goals: Develop specific, measurable, and time-bound objectives that align with your innovation vision. These goals will provide a roadmap for your innovation strategy, helping you measure progress and stay on course.

c) Create a Culture of Innovation: Foster a culture that encourages and rewards innovation. Empower employees at all levels to contribute their ideas and solutions, and provide the necessary resources and support to turn these ideas into reality.

Invest in Research and Development

Innovation is not a one-time event but an ongoing process that requires sustained investment in research and development (R&D), as well as the appropriate budget allocation for time and resources. Unfortunately, some enterprises sabotage their innovation strategies by underinvesting in R&D or diverting resources to other areas when faced with budget constraints.

How to Avoid this Common Business Transformation Pitfall:

a) Prioritize R&D Funding: Allocate a dedicated budget for R&D and innovation initiatives – this includes funding for proper staffing. While it may seem tempting to cut costs during challenging times, reducing investment in innovation can lead to long-term stagnation and missed opportunities.

b) Collaborate with External Partners: Leverage partnerships with universities, research institutions, startups, and industry associations to share the cost and risk of R&D projects. These collaborations can bring fresh perspectives and resources to your innovation efforts.

c) Stay Informed About Emerging Technologies: Keep a close eye on emerging technologies and industry trends. Regularly assess how these developments could impact your business and explore opportunities for innovation that align with these advancements.

Actively Seek Out Customer Insights and Feedback

Innovation should always be customer-centric. Unfortunately, some enterprises sabotage their innovation strategies by neglecting to gather and act on customer insights and feedback. In the Canadian market, where customer expectations are evolving rapidly, this oversight can lead to significant setbacks, or worse, creating a solution or offering customers will ignore.

How to Avoid this Common Business Transformation Pitfall:

a) Listen Actively to Customers: Establish mechanisms to collect feedback from customers through surveys, focus groups, and direct interactions. Pay attention to both positive and negative feedback, as they can provide valuable insights into what is working and what needs improvement.

b) Iterate and Improve: Use customer feedback to iterate on your products, services, and processes. Continuously refine your innovations to better meet customer needs and preferences.

c) Involve Customers in Co-Creation: Consider involving customers in the co-creation of new products or services. Collaborative innovation not only yields more customer-centric solutions but also builds loyalty and engagement.


Making innovation a cornerstone can drive success for large Canadian enterprises, and Business Transformation leaders play a crucial role in initiating and sustaining these efforts. By avoiding the common pitfalls discussed in this blog post—neglecting a clear vision, underinvesting in R&D, and ignoring customer insights—you can build a growth foundation for innovation in your organization.

Remember that innovation is an ongoing journey, and the ability to adapt and learn from failures is just as important as celebrating successes. Stay committed to your innovation vision, invest wisely in R&D, and prioritize your customers’ needs, and your innovation strategy will flourish.


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