5 Reasons Organisations Struggle to Innovate and How to Overcome Them

Innovation is a vital part of every organisation. It leads to significant and sustainable improvements across many areas and has the power to make things better, faster, or cheaper than the competition. Additionally, it can improve internal operations and boost employee morale. So, what hinders companies from taking action and making lasting change? 

Innovation is a vital part of every organisation. It leads to significant and sustainable improvements across many areas and has the power to make things better, faster, or cheaper than the competition. Additionally, it can improve internal operations and boost employee morale.

But while innovation is a critical factor in determining growth trajectory, according to the UK Innovation Survey, only 38% of organisations make idea generation a priority. 

The process of developing, incubating, and implementing new ideas can be daunting. What’s more, this is not a problem affecting small businesses alone. Large and public-sector organisations equally encounter wide-ranging challenges during their innovation journey. 

 So, what hinders companies from taking action and making lasting change? 

1.   Lack of Employee Empowerment

When an organisation considers solving problems internally (usually keeping these within the leadership teams alone), it’s easy to fall into existing modes of thinking. After all, if a company has been doing something a certain way for a long time, it can be hard to break out of this habit.

By using the SimplyDo platform we enable organisations to tap into the talent, skills and knowledge of both internal (closed innovation) and external (open innovation) audiences giving their challenge a fresh set of eyes and ideas. Through involving a broader group of people in solving a problem, a company can gain access to hundreds or even thousands of different approaches to problem solving.

2.   Shortsighted Leadership

Many organisations have managers at the helm rather than innovative leaders. When a manager focuses only on immediate success, they tend to lose focus on long-term goals and opportunities. The focus on the day-to-day running of operations can easily take precedence over investing time into planning for the future. This can not only result in missed opportunities but have a negative impact on the organisation.

Conversely, innovative leaders think about the future, as well as the present and have creative visions and progressive ideas. They are constantly identifying risks and opportunities and developing an adaptability strategy by turning good ideas into actionable concepts. Organisations that focus on the future are also more likely to beat the competition and succeed in the long run.

3.  The Inevitable Resistance to Change

Change should be the only constant factor in an organisation and there cannot be innovation without change. The process of innovation is daunting and some organisations struggle with the fear of the unknown. This is understandable if an organisation has done things a specific way for a while. However, this doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, even if it can feel risky at first. 

Leaders should endeavour to create awareness around the positive impact of change. Once employees understand that change is an added advantage, they’ll strive to lead the creative think tank. The goal is to ensure that leaders constantly communicate and cultivate a culture of innovation within the organisation. The approach, in turn, encourages employees to embrace new ideas and steer the creative think tank.

4.   Slow Structures

Slow structures can create barriers to creative solutions and those with rigid bureaucratic systems and sluggish processes often end up discouraging the innovative spirit. This can result in missed opportunities and also affect the morale of employees who have openly shared their thoughts in an attempt to make an impact - regardless of how big or small. 

An organisation keen on improving, growing or diversifying rapidly should strive to eliminate existing lethargic hierarchies. Instead, cultivating and actioning ideas with quick decision-making not only speeds up creativity but builds momentum for more ideas to come to the surface.

5.   Failure to Embrace Technology

Without technology, capturing, incubating and implementing ideas can be an overwhelming and time-consuming task resulting in great ideas going down the drain. At least 70% of global companies have a digital transformation strategy in progress. However, only a few are fully utilising advancements in technology to further develop creative concepts.

With the right tools and support, the innovation journey can be easy to follow and extremely rewarding for the organisation as a whole. The right platform makes it easy to create suitable challenge parameters, harbour creative ideas, define priority areas and set plausible deadlines for actualisation.


This is where we can help. 


At SimplyDo, our end-to-end technology provides the framework, momentum and confidence to help your organisation unlock great ideas. What’s more, our people + platform approach means our team is on-hand to support you each step of the way.

Find out more about how we can help your organisation, here.

John Barker
Associate Director of Partnership Development