Managing innovation? Why put a damper on creativity? No, that is not the idea. The purpose of managing innovation is to organise all the free-flowing ideas in order to avoid chaos and to actually put all the great ideas into action.
Here are the steps to how you can manage innovation:
To envision an idea is a critical step in the innovation management process. The envisioning process should put the plan in place to reach the innovation goals. Words alone are not enough. Leaders of innovative companies need to emphasise that innovation is a strategic imperative and they need to back up their words with their actions.
The next step, to engage, is where ideas are generated. In this process, companies engage employees, customers and partners to capture and share new ideas. To formalise the engagement process transforms it from an unfocused and ineffective “suggestion box” to a proactive and productive approach that efficiently produces targeted innovations.
With this step, companies evolve ideas to increase their quality and value. Early feedback will allow ideas to be improved upon and problems to be raised so they can be solved or prevented. Give people a platform to exchange information, add comments and refine ideas, and remember, in order to get the most out of ideas, they need to mature. Developing these ideas in a virtual team setting provides the medium to bring group knowledge together and share it with subject matter experts, communities of interest and others by discussing, commenting and contributing to concepts.
Companies must identify the ideas that they believe will succeed. A lot of companies are overwhelmed by too many ideas. They want to use the “wisdom of the crowd” to provide some direction on where to focus. The goal is to take potentially thousands of ideas and turn them into a more reasonable number that you can evaluate. Companies can identify the best ideas by tracking which ideas are getting the most attention, views and comments. They can also provide mechanisms for the community to rate the ideas, from a simple “like” to providing specific feedback or validation on details like technical feasibility.
The best idea in the world will have no value unless it can be transformed into a reality. The execution process takes the input from the previous processes to execute an official project which will further build on the idea. Companies should have a repeatable project management method and should plan projects based on the deliverables to be completed. One of the clearest challenges that companies face in the execution phase is simply getting projects delivered on time and on budget while maintaining quality.
In conclusion, successful innovations are the result of carefully examining the target market and the available technology to meet customer needs. Essentially, innovation management means to be innovative in order to come up with solutions, before competitors have realised there is a problem.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. (E&OE)