Innovation can often be a difficult goal to quantify or achieve systemically. It can be nebulous, because true creativity requires time and flexibility. As Steve Jobs once said, “The system is that there is no system… innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea.”
Yet that doesn’t mean structuring innovation is a bad thing. In fact, a recent Forbes article, “Ad Hoc Innovation Is a Business’s Worst Enemy,” argues the exact opposite:
“By creating a structure within which to innovate, companies ensure there’s consistency in terms of resources and buy-in. Structure also helps organizations share information widely, enabling information found through one project to be utilized by teams who could benefit from the insights while working on other projects.
“Without structure, innovation happens in silos. Ideo research found that companies that pursue five or more ideas simultaneously are 50 percent more likely to find success. The company found that when businesses zone in on one approach, they fail to notice the flaws and continue to pursue it, regardless of the time and money costs.”
Jake Carter, Vice President in Credera’s Management Consulting Practice, is quoted in the article talking about Credera’s process.
“Teams have a vast list of great ideas and experience difficulty determining which new potential innovations to tackle first,” Carter says. “Developing a framework to structure the process of prioritizing ideas and measure success is critical.”
The article identifies several keys to structuring innovation without suffocating creativity:
Embrace Failure: “Organizations looking to innovate have to carry the mentality that failure is an inevitable, even valuable, part of the innovation process,” Carter says.
Foster a Culture of Innovation: By implementing a culture of listening and continual learning at all levels, leaders can develop a safe environment where taking the risks required for innovation is welcomed.
Utilize Innovation Frameworks: Proven practices like design sprints, rapid prototyping, and effective cross-departmental knowledge sharing, can ensure innovations grow beyond individual projects.
Read the full article for more about why structuring innovation isn’t a bad thing. At Credera, we work with clients at every stage of the innovation process, from strategy to ideation and implementation, helping them go to market faster and more effectively. If you are interested in learning more or want to talk about how to increase the effectiveness of your organization’s innovation processes, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.