Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Is innovation the goal?

I have been doing a lot of work in the innovation space lately. I reckon we have to be very careful when launching an innovation initiative through an existing business. Let's take the IDEATION stage in an innovation roll out; this is the stage when you are generating cool ideas and asking the whole business for suggestions on what the business can do. If you simply collate these ideas and never report them, never track the source, don't allow forum style comments in an open source manner and actually run idea competitions to close this 'generating' and 'commenting' phase, you will disengage your people. What's worse, is you may not execute on your brilliant ideas.

So, in a few lines:
  • Come up with ideas
  • Track them
  • Allow open source commentary
  • Progress them and report on it
  • Run competitions to close off this phase
  • Focus on execution and reporting
Your culture and execution frameworks then become key to making innovation happen. If you define innovation as cool ideas then it's not the goal. If however we define innovation as great ideas that have been turned into commercial realities then it's a perfect goal.


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