Innovation is supposed to make your organization more successful. That may mean higher profits, happier customers, productive employees, or any other measurement you use to determine success. Why then do some companies reap the fruits of innovation while others encounter disappointments and failures?
The keys to successful innovation are easy to learn but not always easy to implement. To be a world-class innovator, you need three ingredients: 1) a single definition of innovation that is shared across your organization, 2) the right level of investment of human and financial resources, and, 3) world-class innovation tools and techniques.
Some organizations cut corners in one or more of the three areas, so they do not gain all the benefits that are available. Others make a good faith effort to excel in all three areas, but some of their projects stall due to issues in their corporate culture or their corporate hierarchy.
Another simple way to keep your innovation projects on track is to ask the right questions. Recently, Steve Glaveski published a list of 11 innovation questions, such as, “Can we test it relatively quickly, economically and effectively using our existing networks and ability to prototype?” and, “Will it cost less to deliver than people are willing to pay for it?”
The three keys listed above and the questions from Steve Glaveski’s list are signs that you take innovation seriously. A serious approach to innovation – one that includes planning, monitoring, investment and evaluation – will succeed far more often than an unorganized, underfunded innovation effort.
Related reading: 11 Questions to Ask Before Starting an Innovation Project