- Management buy-in is essential – senior management need to be involved in setting the ambition level and defining the business outcomes for the innovation program
- Before starting the program, prepare a heat map of your business challenges across the near, medium and long term – this provides a clear focus for the program. Business challenges include strategic, financial, market, customer, commercial and technical questions the program is seeking to address.
- To avoid re-inventing the wheel, review all your existing idea logs
- Design a suitable process (and timescales) to generate ideas, build business cases, and launch innovations. A good idea is not enough if it does not get to market or deliver a business impact.
- Maximise the business impact by putting in place the right governance structure. Here’s a previous article I wrote on this subject: http://bit.ly/2jQYYo4
- In addition to product/service innovation, consider business model innovation. For more examples, please read: http://bit.ly/2dJqGV9
- Look inside and outside your organisation for ideas. Engage the help of customers, subject-matter experts, and gain richer insight by talking with people across the supply chain
- Resource the program correctly – don’t force fit available staff or assume specialist innovation skills. If necessary, provide proper coaching and support to the innovation team, and bring in external help if necessary
- Put structures in place to promote cross-business participation.
- Last but not least, share success stories.
Good order is the foundation of all things. —Edmund Burke
An important point: even if you’re focusing on medium to longer term objectives, make sure the program delivers a near-term business impact.
Most companies benefit from having an Innovation Charter. In an upcoming blog, I’ll be sharing the key building blocks of an innovation charter document.
If you want to be more successful at innovation, I recommend our ebook Innovation Unplugged
Other articles that may be of interest include:
- What you need to know about setting up an innovation-growth team
- Using ideation to populate a business strategy roadmap
And if you have a question about innovation, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of 3inno