Google said that there are about 696,000,000 results per 0.70 seconds for “innovation”. Universities are doing research on innovation, companies made innovation their top priority, everybody is speaking about it, but nobody is willing to share their secret ways to achieve it. There are enormous definitions of innovation, but if we strip it to its core, innovation is creating something new or improving something that already exists in order to create some value.
Innovation is a complex process, yet there are 3 most important factors that each company has to pay close attention to in order to bring valuable innovation to the market and achieve measurable results. In the end, innovation process is idea-to-cash infrastructure backed up by people, a well-designed innovation strategy and a tool to support strategy execution.
1. INNOVATION COMMUNITY
No matter how small or big an organization is, their people are the most valuable asset. Every organization is made up of teams of people, ranging from senior management to frontline staff. Your employees possess valuable skills, knowledge, and experience about their role in the organization, which can be used to create and come up with good ideas that save both time and money. Their experience-based knowledge on customer needs, new ideas conceived at the production plant, improvement of work processes and more is a great base for ideation and the first step of innovation.
It’s always good to include your partners, clients, suppliers, external experts, stakeholders and even universities. They all have their own point of view that can help you see a different picture and give you a fresh perspective. On the other hand, social media enables organizations not only to interact with their community, but also to collect ideas, opinions, and insights or seek knowledge.
Bringing together relevant people to support your innovation process, whether you look inside or/and outside the organization, you are creating a system that will produce new revenue-generating business ideas that are set by innovation strategy and take them all the way from concept to launch with the help of an innovation tool.
2. INNOVATION STRATEGY
The main issue with innovation efforts is seen in the lack of innovation strategy. An organization without an innovation strategy won’t be able to make prioritization decisions and choose all proper elements of the innovation process.
Each organization is different with regards to its workforce, processes, products, objectives, priorities, and industry they operate in. A strategy is basically to set a coherent, mutually reinforcing policies or behaviors aimed at achieving specific business goals.
The innovation strategy should be aligned with your business strategy and define the role of innovation and set the direction for innovation execution. Organizations usually define their overall business strategy first, with their scope and positioning, specifying how various functions—such as marketing, operations, finance, and innovation will support it.
An explicit innovation strategy helps you design a system to match your specific competitive needs. With innovation strategy your people will have a clear and transparent direction to come up with ideas that have a large impact on the company.
3. INNOVATION TOOL
Technological solutions such as innovation management platform allow enterprises to treat innovation as a process and to integrate activities and flows to power the end-to-end innovation life-cycle.
When innovation is viewed as an end-to-end process that covers the life cycle of an idea from its creation to the market, a range of emerging and established technologies play a significant role in raising the innovation potential of the enterprise. A complete innovation management platform should include:
• Idea management system to help manage the flow of ideas and their evolution. They provide a structured, disciplined approach to manage the ideation process and advanced metrics to track the flow and outcomes of the process.
• Product life-cycle management (PLM) and project or product portfolio management (PPM) systems, often used in the later stages of the innovation life cycle, to help manage a portfolio of innovations and related product life-cycles.
• Market tracking systems used to track all of your investments and products portfolio and to better understand strengths and weaknesses in comparison to competitors.
End-to-end innovation management platform systematizes and structures key activities of your innovation strategy all along the process. In order to be used on continuing basis among your people, these solutions must have following features:
• Intuitive and easy to use interface with little or no training required for end users
• Responsive web interface for all devices and mobile apps, accessible from anywhere, anytime
• Fully customizable to suit your specific business needs
• Easily integrated into your existing business ecosystem
• Enterprise-grade security regarding data confidentiality, data privacy protection and disaster recovery system
With over 10 years of experience working with very demanding clients, we learned that everything comes down to people, strategy and tools. With the dedicated and loyal team, well-defined strategy and end-to-end innovation management software, your only concern will be to keep the tool running and that depends on your people that are the engine behind every innovation process.
If you defined your innovation strategy and gathered your innovation community, our highly customizable Innovation Cloud Enterprise platform that can be easily integrated into your business ecosystem and matches your exact business needs, together with our dedicated team at your service is everything that you need to engage your innovation community and execute your innovation strategy!