Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two – basic functions: marketing and innovation. (Peter Drucker)
Implementing innovative ideas to steer them through successful execution demands a sequential way of working. Here is a run-through of the principles and the sequential flow you can follow in formulating a well-defined innovation management strategy:
- Develop a roadmap
- Encourage the workforce to be innovative
- Introduce mechanisms that support your cause
- Formulate a structure and use technology to expedite innovation
- Form a sequential innovation lifecycle
Develop a roadmap
Before deciding to build a marketable product out of the innovative ideas, the innovation managers must do thorough research, assess the investment cost, market condition, consumer demand, and long-term gain. Based on this information, they can find the most feasible route and go for it. This will allow them to form a systematic workflow or an action plan that will enable them to convey their vision better.
Encourage the workforce to be innovative
Your employees or talent pools are the innovators and curators of the organization. Thus, it is important to build a culture that will allow them to take risks, make mistakes, and learn. When employees’ efforts are acknowledged, they will attempt to combat any challenge that comes their way with all their might. Moreover, if you incentivize innovation and recognize the employees for their extraordinary talent, it will enhance their performance.
Introduce mechanisms that support your cause
When you promote a culture of experimentation, you should develop mechanisms that convert ingenuity into marketable innovations. For example, the tech giant Samsung provides a c-lab, i.e., a Creative lab, to cultivate brilliant thinking and generate novel opportunities. Similarly, you can offer a digital platform or build glass walls at the workplace where your employees can note and share their viewpoints without any hindrance.
Formulate a structure and use technology to expedite innovation
Now, once the employees are on board and thinking creatively to help you get a breakthrough product or upgrade, the next step is to find the right tools for practical execution. You can start by investing in advanced project and resource management tools.
The new idea can be treated as a project, and managers can use the tool to form the project plan and track progress. At the same time, a resource management tool can allow you to keep a resource plan ready, form the right team, and hire specialized expertise long before the project is set to initiate.
After following these principles and ascertaining a conducive environment for converting an innovative idea to reality, you can follow these sequential steps for its successful execution.
Form a sequential innovation lifecycle
Brainstorm ideas with the team. Lack of coordination is one of the top 6 obstacles for innovation performance. Thus, the first step in the innovation lifecycle is to collaborate and brainstorm ideas as a team. Encourage and empower the members to form the right execution path. Strong communication empowers the team to share their opinion. Likewise, managers can assess and accept ideas that align with the overall objectives and goals.
Manage stakeholder expectations. Once managers back the idea with a solid project plan, they should present the idea to relevant stakeholders. After all, without their buy-in, there is no way turn the idea into a real product. So, understanding the stakeholders’ expectations and altering the plan to accommodate them is the next step of this lifecycle.
Execute the idea. Once the team and the upper management are on board, turn the plan into action for the novel product. Following the project plan and accomplishing the tasks accordingly will lead you to steer the project through successfully. Managers can keep an eye on the project’s progress in real-time using the project and resource management software.
Experience the change. The most important step of the innovation lifecycle is to experience the change you have introduced into the business world. However, the work doesn’t end here. Managers have to study the impact of the newly generated or service on the market, analyze the customer’s reaction and reviews, and keep room for improvement in case of discrepancies.
If you follow these principles and life cycle, you can formulate a coherent and holistic innovation management strategy.