Why Innovation Failure Rates Are High And Continually Increasing

Steve Jobs Headshot and Quote for Blog

For a company to grow and be sustainable, there must be continual innovative improvement at the lowest level of the company to significant innovation at the highest level of the company. Good decisions at every level dictate the success of that innovation. Yet bad decisions and the resulting high innovation failure rates in the business ecosystem is the norm in society. For example, consulting firm McKinsey found that 72% of senior executives thought their companies made bad decisions more often than good decisions. That bears out in statistics where, depending on the year and field, 70% to 95% of new corporate product launches fail and around 75% of new products fail from VC backed start-ups.

The question of why innovation failure is so prevalent will be answered here through a new breakthrough paradigm on life and society. The description of this paradigm begins with a very broad outline of how the atomic system and the solar system are structured. The atomic system is comprised of constantly moving particles and the solar system is comprised of constantly moving planets. Both systems are highly organized, complex organizations that have immense forces moving and holding them together. That is why it’s incredibly difficult to split up an atom or split up a solar system. And even if you can split some part of them up, then the rest of that system would continue to function without being affected. This is because both systems have pre-coded, self-assembly instructions built in. That’s why these two systems are stable and efficient. The existence of these systems cannot be accidental or gratuitous. They can only exist because there was vision, strategy and execution to create them. There is no other way to create complex systems. This is a designed condition.

Sandwiched between the atomic and solar systems, is what physics defines as chaos. But chaos is being constrained and restricted by these organized systems around it. This results in chaos being forged into what we recognize as the attributes of risk and randomness. These newly created attributes, the only beneficial aspects of chaos, are what give life the ability to even exist. That’s because life requires the fluidity of different choices to constantly be made. The underlying mechanism for choices to exist as an option has to involve risk and randomness; wherein the nature of risk is one of being unstable and the nature of randomness is one of being inefficient. But it’s not just life that’s built on risk and randomness, but all segments of society are as well. That’s why risk and randomness are universally applicable throughout society, within business, economics, geopolitics and the sciences. That makes both life and society complex systems. The end result is one where the stable/efficient atomic and solar systems are predictable. While the unstable/inefficient life and society systems are unpredictable. In turn, the more society advances and interconnects, the more risk and randomness, from all segments of society, are collectively forced to interact. That interaction intensifies the effect of risk and randomness and makes society more volatile and unpredictable. So as a process, societal advancement produces more unpredictability, not less. This is a designed condition.

Humans assume that they use their intelligence to navigate their way through these designed conditions. But this is completely wrong. Human intelligence, in-of-itself, is not capable of navigating within the increasing unpredictability of life and society. Intelligence, in-of-itself, is barely capable to help humans just survive. That’s why unknowingly, most humans rely on emotion. This framework is not understood because current Neuroscience mistakenly assumes that emotion is just an aspect or extension of intelligence. It is not. Emotion is a completely separate mind component that is thousands of times more powerful than intelligence. Emotion exists outside biological intelligence while interacting with it. (Therefore, mechanical AI will never have emotion). Within humans, emotion has several roles, the first of which is to quickly impart context to intelligence. This means imparting context to all images and sound that humans see and hear. Words and language by themselves, which are simply a manifestation of intelligence, comprise a very small part of actual human communication. The main part of communication is based on emotion. The second role of emotion is to impart a sense of passion, trust and significance. It is this sense that gives humans the desire to interact, improve the world and to even just exist. The last role of emotion guides intelligence to aggregate and connect information in new ways. Emotion then acts as a beacon, with the stronger level of emotion signaling a greater amount of new information created. Taking action to manifest that new information has always been labeled as creativity. It is impossible for intelligence to duplicate the functions of emotion. That’s why only emotion can give humans the capability, speed, agility and perception to navigate through the increasing risk, randomness and unpredictability of life and society. This is a designed condition. (Click here for more information on the complete role and impact of emotion)

So, three designed conditions within the new paradigm on life and society have now been explained. The social sciences do not understand this new paradigm and therefore can’t help guide the business ecosystem, which is the most volatile and unpredictable segment of society. This leaves confused business academics and leaders making guesses about the process of innovation, which is the most volatile and unpredictable aspect of the business ecosystem. That’s why nearly everyone in business mistakenly defaults to making innovation decisions by relying on data and analysis, which is the domain of intelligence. This is a mistake because data and analysis, no matter its quality or quantity, does not lead to successful innovation. An article in Innovation Management accurately discloses this truth, noting that once business students “..emerge from the hallowed halls of academia, they are often surprised to find that businesses run much less on logic and much more on emotion. It is not cold, intelligent analysis that drives most organizations forward. Emotional energy is often the real engine behind successful people and organizations.” That’s why Steve Jobs said: “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” But most entrepreneurs who do rely extensively on their emotion just get pulled by emotion in multiple wrong directions and then end up failing as much as those that rely on data and analysis. That’s because there is a huge catch to using emotion for innovation that is understood by breakthrough innovators. It can only be done successfully if a human additionally develops a skill to use emotion as a tool alongside their intelligence. Learning this skill has always been left to the chance of experience and/or natural ability.

So for academia and business, here is the take-away dynamic from this new paradigm:
Societal advancement increases the demand for innovation to solve new problems that continually arise, while simultaneously also increasing the challenges to achieve it due to intensifying risk and randomness. Having a skill to use emotion as a tool is the only way to successfully navigate these increasingly unpredictable conditions. But most humans do not have this skill, or even know that they need it. This is why innovation failure rates are high and continually increasing.

To flip this dynamic is the reason why OIsource (oisource.com) created a 90-minute online course called the ITP, which stands for Innovative Thinking Process. The foundation of the ITP is based on the disciplines of ideation, meditation and stoicism. It is a demanding, self-directed, mental and writing exercise that uses thought experiments to teach the participating individual the skill of using emotion as a tool alongside their intelligence. The ITP achieves this outcome through the development of Idea Models. That is the reason breakthrough innovators succeed, because of their natural ability to use emotion as a tool to quickly develop Idea Models. Only Idea Models have the capability to project concepts through risk and randomness into an unpredictable future that cannot yet be experienced directly. This is a designed condition.

Once the ITP online course is completed, it will only takes 20 minutes to develop new Idea Models. Then with continual use, Idea Models will become more complex and robust. At that point the addition of data and analysis becomes needed and very useful. Also, group ideation and remote interactions will be a lot more productive for teams once they communicate through Idea Models, because emotion has already been taken into account within that communication. Consequently, the ITP will empower individuals and teams with an ability to lean into risk, randomness and unpredictability to successfully innovate.

Now, with the Coronavirus changing so many lives, OIsource would like to help individuals and teams by making the ITP available at no charge at: oisource/teachable.com/p/itp

Just type in the code word: FreeITP within the coupon prompt when signing up. Then take the course and start the journey to control your innovation success.

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