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Business Innovation Tips

Requirements to realize the significant benefits associated with successful Business Innovation include –

  • Make innovation part of the company’s DNA with leadership support, individual empowerment, celebrate results, learn from failure, a learning organization, becoming more agile, etc.
  • Get out — engage with customers and internal business personnel face-to-face,  use external spaces for meetings, participate in Innovation conferences / forums / community events, etc.
  • Educate Executives and others that will be impacted by change upfront on what innovation is, why it’s of value, the rewards / mindset / process, etc. and how they’ll benefit from dedicating their time and resources to it.
  • Have several key metrics – that you can explain quickly (ie: in an elevator or in a few minutes) that highlight important benefits and impact on the business and for them.
  • Monetize innovation for the company and incentivize in personnel compensation.
  • Ensure people in the business units that will benefit and impacted are engaged in the innovation journey.
  • Acknowledge your lack of knowledge and go find the people needed to analyze, scope and provide a solution.
  • Have an depth appreciation of the problem, plus be supportive and collaborative in exploring for a solution.
  • Because there are different forms of Innovation, clarify –
    • if it’s about product, process, people, business impact, the company, the industry
    • the corporate risk tolerance, ability to change, support for strategic direction, etc.
    • the need for collaboration and openness – across Dept / groups within the organization, Partners and Customers
  • Embrace feedback  –  don’t take things personally.
  • Start small and achieve some wins quickly – and fail fast on projects not getting traction.
  • Treat an Innovation project like an early-stage, cashless startup.
  • Get diversity of talent on your innovation team.
  • Find people who can learn fast, want to make a difference, like challenge, are multi-skilled, open, etc.
  • Real-world pilots require a test environment and are an opportunity for the team to come together with clear focus
  • Start small. Think big! Don’t scale too soon.
  • Innovate by visioning – what would it feel like as a new employee walking around the company in 3, 5 or 10 years from now ?
  • Since Innovation is an important strategic initiative and gestation takes time, be patient on realizing early financial returns.
  • Because Innovation is viewed as a fetus (the future) or a tumor (death), how will your corporation treat it ?
  • Don’t stop at ideation. Have a plan to scale and grow – on a sustainable basis
  • Get buy-in from across the organization.
  • Separate research, development, implementation / deployment, commercialization, monetization.
  • Don’t be afraid of being uncomfortable, complainers, people resisting change, and other distractions.
  • Recognize good Innovators are passionate, persistent, imaginative, flexible, empathetic, etc.
  • Collect and leverage project information to better guide future projects and decisions.
  • Use clients/customers and other influencers to push the Innovation agenda.
  • Make friends everywhere, do heavy networking internally, externally, with industry influencers, etc.

Nov 18, 2016 — CAIL — Innovation Insights