How can you maintain your innovation process? Below are some suggestions to get you thinking – most should apply to most companies. Compiling the initial list is easy – doing it is the hard bit!
- Establish the importance of innovation for your organisation and its role in the overall strategy
- 100% commitment from management – support, encourage, demonstrate, walk the walk
- Integrate innovation into organisation’s culture
- Facilitate open communication at all levels – How is it working? What else could we be doing?
- Establish practical metrics for performance: non-perfect is better than none at all
- Recruit the right talent: open-minded, flexible, passionate, questioning, diverse backgrounds
- Set up access to fresh perspectives: customers, stakeholders, non customers, etc
- Provide creative thinking training for your people
- Set up an idea management system to solicit, capture and evaluate ideas (my fave – jenni)
- Involve your customers / consumers (open source collaboration)
- Look at “best practice” in model companies (Nokia, Apple, etc) to devise your own “next practise”
- Set up project teams that tap into your organisation’s diversity (can you use external resources?)
- Give time and permission for experimentation and allow failures
- Set up a slush fund for innovation
- Consider skunkworks if size and nature of innovation will struggle within the parent organisation
- Recognise (and reward?) people’s efforts
- Work in cycles to maintain focus and the flexibility to review and refine
- Innovate the innovation process: How could we do things differently?