In case of emergency break glass
A lot of times I think our use of innovation tools, techniques and strategies are similar to a fire alarm. Even though we have great need of new and better ideas and new ways of thinking, we leave the innovation tools and techniques behind glass, waiting for an emergency. It's as if we can only use these tools in case of a dire emergency, rather than incorporate them in our everyday challenges. When we place that level of emphasis on the tools and techniques, the barriers for using them mount up over time. If the last crisis wasn't important enough to break out the innovation tools, is this crisis important enough? And eventually, you can only break out these tools in the case of a crisis, not as part of an every day activity.
Since the tools are locked behind glass and used infrequently at best, the understanding of the tools and their implications becomes more hazy. How the tools are best applied and the methodologies become suspect. When we do decide to "break the glass", we are usually applying these tools and techniques in a crisis situation when we haven't prepared adequately or used them for quite some time, so we're using unfamiliar tools in a high visibility, high stress situation. Talk about a recipe for disaster.
Instead of locking innovation tools and techniques behind glass, why not deploy them as a regular part of your team's toolkit, and practice using them on a regular basis? The tools and techniques may add more to your day to day thinking and output, and your team will be much more familiar with their usage when the time comes to address a larger or more strategic problem. Using this approach will require some training on the various tools and techniques, and frequent application of these tools or techniques during the regular course of your working week, rather than slapdash, highly visible uses of the tool under great duress.
If you can introduce innovation tools and techniques as a natural part of your business process and a regular "tool" in your daily toolbox, then your team will become familiar with yet another way of solving a problem, and will be able to apply these tools more effectively when the chips are down.