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Why Innovation Programs Fail and How to Ensure Yours Don’t

Litha Sokutu
19 May 22

In this article, we shall unpack the Gartner® Customizable Innovation Framework and the enterprise strategy to help you and your organization identify the key objectives and goals to initiate innovation planning and establish a clear scope.

In the era of digitalization, there is proof from a variety of industries that innovation is a critical pillar to fulfilling strategic objectives and goals. The journey is not without its challenges and obstacles; various factors can impede organizations’ innovation efforts. Leaders need to be aware of the best methodology to ensure that innovation projects are seen out and reach the execution stage.

The Gartner report can help business leaders optimize their innovation projects and drive value:

→ Get Your Copy of the Gartner® Report: Leverage Enterprise Strategy Objectives and Goals to Focus Your Innovation Efforts

Understanding Why Innovation Efforts Fail

One of the main reasons why innovation programs fail is that organizations have not defined compelling and clear business objectives to initiate an innovation project. To achieve clear outcomes, innovation roadmaps must be carefully designed.

According to Gartner: “Executive leaders often face the following challenges while driving innovation efforts:

  1. We have plenty of ideas but struggle to prioritize.
  2. We don’t know how to align the work we are doing with clear outcomes from the business.
  3. We start strong but then lose momentum.”

So how can you and your organization develop guardrails that offset the inhibiting factors above and create effective innovation efforts?

The Gartner report empowers executive leaders to gain best practices on mitigating the risk of innovation failure and developing an effective innovation architecture. Get your complimentary copy:

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Utilize a Clear Innovation Framework

As per our understanding, the Gartner® Customizable Innovation Framework (seen below in Figure 1) provides specific guidelines to create impactful innovation projects that help reduce risks throughout every part of the innovation stage gate. As stated, “The framework provides a way to frame key decisions about what innovation success will look like and guidance on how to navigate greater than 100 innovation activities, identifying those most likely to lead to success.”

Gartner® Customizable Innovation Framework


Develop a Clear Dissemination Process to Avoid Innovation Failure

At ITONICS, we believe a critical factor in optimizing your innovation activities involves consistent information-sharing and leveraging a single point of truth to encourage 'knowledge exchange'. We refer to this as dissemination and assist in optimizing an innovation framework such as the one recommended by Gartner.  

An innovation framework used in conjunction with a clear dissemination process ensures:

  • Organization-wide alignment enables teams to understand their roles and the required resources in the innovation activity.
  • Facilitate knowledge transfer by sharing internal expertise and innovation intelligence.
  • Catalyze commitment by securing buy-in and engagement across the organization.
  • Democratize innovation by empowering everyone to innovate.

Get your copy of the Gartner report and get first-hand insights and recommendations on how to develop successful innovation programs!

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Also read:


Gartner, Leverage Enterprise Strategy Objectives and Goals to Focus Your Innovation Efforts, Darren Topham, Peter Skyttegaard, Refreshed 4 May 2022, Published 3 December 2020,

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from ITONICS.

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