A quick introduction and signposting to Innovation – and what it can do for you and your organisation. The format is in three columns: Questions you might ask, a short personal answer by me – and places to look for more detail!
Any thoughts or comments – do let me know.
- What is “innovation”
“The successful implementation of new ideas to add value”.
It’s a journey. From a new idea, to first test and then to full-scale implementation. And then, if it works and adds value, it’s innovation.
It’s as much about new processes, new ways of doing things as about new products or services.
Don’t kid yourself that something simple like a new colour, a new go-faster stripe, a curved top, a better ladder are innovations for your business. At best it’s incremental innovation – yes it improves life but really just keeps you in the game.
Look for Step Innovation – something that makes a real difference to you and your customers.
A Government definition. http://bit.ly/RUoeuj
NESTA: The UK’s Innovation Foundation. http://bit.ly/RqGokX
Good blog (and blog list): Mitch Ditkoff: Heart of Innovation http://bit.ly/tBFLER
Good LinkedIn group: Innovation Excellence http://bit.ly/SLCuVu
Good Newsletter: InnovationTools http://bit.ly/QtDKf6
Good Crowdsourcing: Innocentive http://bit.ly/RiS70F
Good weekly ideas: SpringWise http://bit.ly/Poxgd2
Good books: “The Circle of Innovation” by Tom Peters. Even the book layout is innovative! 15 years old and still relevant!
“Innovation and entrepreneurship” by John Bessant and Joe Tidd. Light academic read with great “Innovation in Action” mini bites and case studies.
- How do you get new ideas?
Some people in your organisation have new ideas all the time. Support them. Capture the ideas and review them. Find the time!
Try Creative Thinking as a process. Use a structured brainstorm (like PILOT™) to focus on a particular problem. Energising, effective and fun too.
Good books: “How to have creative ideas”. Edward de Bono.
“Lateral Thinking” range by Paul Sloane. http://bit.ly/NAPiak
- How do you find the time?
It’s a culture thing!
The CEO must believe in innovation and must live it and encourage it. He or she must find the resource (time) for everyone else to practise.
One hour a week? One a month? An annual away day? Do something!
Mitch Ditkoff again: Creating Time to Innovate http://bit.ly/OHAtFV
- Who is responsible for innovation?
Everyone is! Everyone should be encouraged to have those ideas – and be part of the passion to carry them through!
Have inter-departmental teams to break down silos and collaborate on ideas.
Do not have an innovation manager or department – everyone else will think they do it all!
Google “Innovation Teams”. You get some good stuff but heavily corporate.
- How can we get new ideas through our middle management?
Managers have to be part of the innovation culture.
Make them accountable not just for success in their areas but for trying new ideas too – even if they fail! Fail fast! We all learn lots from failure.
TIME Business Article: How to get Innovation from the Big Middle http://ti.me/O0snqy
- What is Open Innovation?
The understanding that your organisation can’t be best at it all.
There are some great companies out there (mostly small!) who you could collaborate with to make new products and services way better than each on your own. Go look!
Talk to us about our Collaboration Workshops.
Good Blog: 15Inno by Stefan Lindegaard http://bit.ly/QtMy4C
- How do I start to build an innovation culture?
Find your internal innovation champion (not manager!) and some bright ideas people (from different areas) and run a creative thinking session.
Implement the best (preferably short term) idea and support it through middle management.
Celebrate (and measure) success – and do it again – and again!
Mitch Ditkoff again again! 50 Ways to Foster a Culture of Innovation. http://bit.ly/OHyhOB
- Contact us!
We are always willing to help.