This isn’t an exhaustive list, by any means. Just a few we’ve seen.
1. Seeing a hipster, open and funky office and assuming that some great innovation must happen there.
Interaction design is important, and can inspire and facilitate collaboration. But a building does not generate innovation. You need the right mix of people, problems and resources to make that happen. And it can happen in surprisingly dull environments, including back offices and garages. Just ask every single major tech company in Silicon Valley today.
2. Assuming innovation can be facilitated by a rigid, predictable, unvarying program
It’s okay to have a methodology, tools and basic framework for innovation. But the more rigid and unvarying the program, the less innovation you get. The whole point of innovation programs is to try something different. This means experimentation and difference. As you as you have something predictable, people can game the system.
3. Only listening to successful business innovators
The problem with a success is that it can be hard to learn from it. Not all successful innovators will have had a charmed business life, so they may have war stories to tell. But you can learn even more by talking to people willing to share stories of failure, or less successful outcomes.