Friday, December 14, 2007

What Practitioners Want To Know About Innovation

Innovation Tools recently conducted a survey of innovation practitioners to determine the most important innovation issues to practitioners. Over 250 people responded, representing a broad cross-section of industries and geography.

The responses were grouped by Innovation Tools into 9 topics:
  1. Defining innovation and making it saleable and practical to senior management
  2. Sourcing and managing ideas to come up with the best innovation opportunities
  3. Connecting innovation to business strategy - and getting funding and executive support for medium and long term innovation initiatives
  4. Identifying the best processes and tools to satisfy the needs of all parties to the innovation initiative
  5. Building and sustaining an innovation and entrepreneurship culture
  6. Measuring innovation outcomes across all stages of the process - and motivating the organization to deliver across all stages of the innovation process
  7. Finding or building the people and capabilities to be successful in innovation
  8. Organizing to drive innovation in our company and across the value chain - with particular reference to decision rights and accountabilities
  9. Identifying the characteristics of innovation leaders at different levels of the organization - and recognizing and rewarding them
I think the list is terrific - comprehensively covering some of the key issues in innovation.

I would however be tempted to make a slight tweak to the topics list - the rewards and incentives to motivate employees (which appear in topics 6 and 9 and relate strongly to 5) could, I suggest, be usefully be brought out into a separate 'incentives and rewards' topic - bringing the list to a 'top 10' topic areas for innovation.

Idea Management Systems, while playing a very explicit role in relation to topics 2, 4, 6 and 8, also relates very strongly to topics 1 and 3. Idea Management Systems provide the rigour and repeatable results in innovation that are saleable to senior management. Idea Management Systems also align innovation activity with business strategy through implementing a Stage-Gate system that is necessarily aligned with business strategy as ideas are considered, screened or tested at various early stages in the innovation process and business strategy and objectives necessarily define the evaluation or screening criteria.

1 comment:

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