5 Practical Ways For Creating a Successful Innovation Program

Innovation practice has made some amazing progress over the last few years. Large enterprises are trying various programs to foster new innovations in an attempt to find the best way to change course for their big ships.

Despite size or sector, businesses are striving to keep up with the pace of growing customer demands and emerging technology. To resist ever-growing challenges, organisations are increasing their investments in innovation and deploying a variety of strategies.

You’ve heard it a thousand times now: organisations need to invariably innovate to sustain. Big giants like Google are already doing it – they allow their employees to dedicate 20% of their time in innovation. Organizations are not just practising innovation for incremental product features or enhancements, they are reinventing new business patterns and altering the customer experience beyond the core product.

Forrester claims that 53% of global services decision-makers said they are investing in emerging innovation and idea management technologies to drive innovation.

The goal of innovation programs is to encourage employees to come up with ideas – give them the opportunity to pitch their ideas, provide experimental capital to employees, test ideas, and then invest in the successful ones. Several organisations are now beginning to focus on implementing various types of organizational innovation programs.

But what accurately will it take to build a sustainable innovation program? Here are a few practical ways of creating a successful innovation program.

Dedicated innovation teams

Staffing an innovation team to develop strategy, managing, and initiating innovation programs will give a lead start to the program. It requires leaders, experts in internal communication and with proven records as change agents, since impacting organization’s thinking can be an uphill battle.

Dedicated innovation teams can identify areas of collaboration ahead of the traditional process. Deploying innovation in different departments such as operations, customer experience, and even new business can improve the coordination with the organisation as a whole, especially when it comes to decision-making.

Innovation Center of Excellence

Organizations looking for a more comprehensive innovative program might choose to build an Innovation Center of Excellence (CoE). As innovation can’t happen in a single group, with the help of CoE, organizations can bring different groups/departments together for innovation.

Maintaining a CoE is worth all its value when the organization executes all business units in alignment and achieving culture change. Besides, the innovation team needs to include senior leadership members with the responsibility to standardize and scale innovation across organizations. Some organisations may find it beneficial initiating cross-functional, multi-disciplinary groups to share knowledge throughout the organization.

Open Innovation

Open Innovation often described as the use of purposive inflow and outflow of knowledge to spur innovation and encourage companies to acquire external sources of innovation to remain competitive.

This is the birth of innovative startups inside a large organisation for everything from overnight hackathons to long-term programs. Open innovation programs are expected to quickly achieve prototyping of ideas. 

Open innovation programs can result in quicker time to market, especially for product launches, with a fresh perspective.

A tool to manage the influx of ideas

A journey of innovation from introducing a strategy for collaboration to implement mutually beneficial business models needs a common podium. This solution needs to be flexible enough to make innovation a repeatable business practice, engaging enough to sustain collaboration, and powerful enough to surface and select ideas with the greatest business value.

Introducing a framework or tool kit help organizations and contributors to capture, access, promote, evaluate, and select the relevant ideas to execution. It helps maintain transparent and robust innovation management workflow processes.

Did you know: MarketsandMarkets Research predicts that the Innovation Management market is projected to grow from an estimated USD 421.6 Million in 2017 to USD 1,519.2 Million by 2022, at a CAGR of 29.2% during 2017–2022.

Conclusion

Innovation cannot be achieved overnight nor is it a temporary fix, rather it is a long-term strategy that requires investment in both time and effort.

Successful organisations focus on establishing a foundation with the right people and empowering them to contribute innovative ideas for business growth. It is about influencing the organization and involving every employee.

As organizations aim to prioritize developing an organizational culture that is innovation-focused, it is essential to consider implementing the right strategies that can bring transformation right from the ground level.Encourage the business change as a result of innovation in a more coordinated way using  Wave – An idea management tool that helps organizations to setup best innovation programs and engages their employees to innovate the most valuable ideas, identify their potential business value and obtain solutions for challenges.

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