For most organizational leaders looking to improve their innovation results, focusing on process alone is likely not sufficient to produce the results to compete today. Of course, having a defined innovation process and ensuring that process is effective is critical and cannot be overlooked. Why is process alone unlikely to significantly improve innovation management? Because people run processes. Great innovation management requires the right people, this factor is the most critical to improve results. Next, is that within the organization innovation management and leaders foster the right culture (and environment). Thus, when you are seeking to improve innovation results, the process and tools that are implemented should be done within this context of ensuring the right people and right environment are in place.
Innovation management should look for team members with an openness to new ideas and environments. Innovators find insights by leveraging stimuli to think in new ways. The openness and freedom given by innovation sponsor directly impacts the result in a breakthrough innovation.
Another factor is flexibility, because the problem-solving skills necessary to generate ideas are different from the skills to assess the feasibility or value of a concept, solution, or new business model. It is important that your consulting firm partner has methods to manage and assess these skills so you get the best results from your innovation teams.
However, by making concept or solution development a step, it limits the ability to iterate and promotes the idea that a solution or innovation itself is an event not a continual improvement and refinement of a concept. Top innovation consulting firms are always creating the solution, and iterating not focusing on siloed steps that puts pressure on moving from concept to market. Similarly, you can view our approach to innovation which is called Collaborative Innovation where u201ccreateu201d is not a step but a continual iteration throughout the process.
The right environment includes he culture, decision-making authority, incentives and more. Too many times the culture is about deferring to the top leader overseeing innovation efforts, typically requiring top executives to make decisions to progress the concept to the next step, such as moving to the prototyping stage prior to the development. Linear thinking approaches tend to force decisions, leaving teams to defer to leaders at critical turning points. Using methods like lean startup that promote iteration in creation of solutions and continual learning. Innovation management environments that foster this type of iteration and learning are found within the more successful companies.
- Assessed the innovativeness of a major healthcare instruments company whose teams were not as effective as they could be; identified lack of ideation thinking styles and limited climate of trust due to project team formation, multi-department oversight; recommended people and team on-boarding changes that improved team morale and effectiveness
- Developed an innovation process that reduced the development cycle by 40% by setting strategy and defining platforms for development
- Trained senior management on the linkage between strategy and innovation (technology and application of technology, NPD) in driving competitive advantage and financial results
- Global benchmarking study to recommend a global coordination model for innovation linking decisions from core technology, application of technology to regional/local market customization
- Defined a venture development process to incubate new businesses and business models to expand the boundaries of the organize and helped them manage higher risk growth projects separate from core business
- Integrated into the innovation approach best practice design thinking with lean startup methods to leverage behavioral insight methods in a flexible framework to improve probability of success in front-end innovation
- Innovation metrics development for a major food & beverage company who was reorganizing their R&D packaging technologies, etc. into innovation groups
Innovation Management & Team Assessment
Innovation Portfolio Assessment
Lean Start-Up Innovation