Innovation Management: Importance, Ideas, and Examples

Innovation management

In less than a decade, innovation management got recognized as one of the most powerful strategies an organization can use to streamline internal processes and boost their business productivity.

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

What is innovation management?

According to Gartner, innovation management is a structured process of generating, capturing, discussing and improving, organizing, evaluating and prioritizing valuable insight or alternative thinking that would otherwise not have emerged through normal processes.

Capturing innovative ideas from employees at various levels, building an active and collaborative workforce, recognizing employees effort and communicating effectively with all stakeholders are the vital building blocks of innovation management.

According to the recent study by Accenture, over 90% of executives think innovation is key to their business success.

Organizations are often driven by committee-vet ideas developed from a holistic perspective. This gives only a one-dimensional lookout for a specific business challenge. However, crowdsourcing innovation from employees can harness your organization’s creative ability besides your business growth. So why not ignite the culture of ideation among employees?

Importance of innovation management

Crowdsourcing innovation is slowly making its debut in the digital workplace and that too with high expectations. This practice encourages an active participation of employees pooling up ideas within the organization. It acts as a channel to obtain an appropriate and effective solution to complex business challenges.

Building a culture of innovation that drives productive and sustainable innovation practices can spark more ideas from within your workforce helping organizations remain competitive & stay ahead in the long haul. With incorporating innovation management, decentralization is another added advantage. C-level executives might not recognize the precise pain points of specific markets when compared to mid-level managers. This knowledge facilitates them to produce a stronger innovation strategy than a high-level executive.

Pooling innovation can span over new products or services, enhancement of organization’s performance, cost-reducing techniques, process improvements, or innovative business models and methods.

A recent study by Accenture revealed that more than 90 percent of executives believe that the long-term success of their organization’s strategy depends on their ability to develop new ideas.

Failing to recognise the significance of innovation management may result in an organization with outdated offerings. At times the organization may come to a compromise by failing to deliver top-notch innovative offerings that contribute to staying ahead of the competition.

A Gartner’s CIO Survey revealed that innovation management and crowdsourcing are two of the five most effective digital innovation practices that deliver the highest improvement in digital performance. Interestingly, CIOs also expressed that these practices were employed the least.

Integrating an innovation management platform can help your organization to capture ideas and serve as a discussion platform generating solutions to business challenges or new product launch. Encourage your employees to ideate more by rewarding the best of their innovative spirits by carving a sustainable innovation pool supporting your business initiatives.

Ideas for successful innovation management

1. Involve Everyone and Create Conversations

To make your innovation culture efficacious, involving every employee remains crucial. Innovation isn’t effective in isolation. Bringing employees together, in the beginning, may stir a better chance for success. As mentioned above, crowdsourcing can be one of the best techniques to involve employees in innovation and generate a pool of ideas within the organization.

The best way to inspire innovative thinking isn’t to force a brainstorming session, it’s to create an ongoing conversation. The quality of conversation is an important determinant impacting the quality of creativity and innovation.

It provides an interactive platform to bridge the gap between senior management and employees during their ideation sessions.

 “94% of senior executives agree that employees and corporate culture are the most important drivers of innovation” – PWC

2. Do Not Push Employees, Pull Them In

Nurturing the internal side of open innovation amplifies participation. Forcing or mandating involvement may lead to frailties in due course of time.

To involve employees in ideation – make them understand how their ideas will contribute to the organisation’s success. Explain the significance of innovation, describe the potential they have in improving the organization’s productivity, individual growth, rewards & recognition, overall purpose and values they get.

Employees might get motivated by recognizing these values and participate in innovation.

IT’S NOT ABOUT IDEAS. IT’S ABOUT MAKING IDEAS HAPPEN
– SCOTT BELSKY

3. Run awareness campaigns

Creating innovative ideas that drive business growth don’t just happen, it requires a strategic orientation to adopt the culture and generate new ideas. It is a proven way to encourage the widest range of participants in innovating.

Creating awareness by running campaigns is a proven way to generate interest to use the ideation space. This has a direct influence on capturing creative ideas stirring enhanced productivity, cut down operational costs and drive improvements from the bottom up in a short time period.

This campaign can be within your organization’s social network via emails, news and events, announcements, posts etc.

4. Introduce a common space for Innovation with an Innovation Management Tool

Employees might not have a separate place and time to meet to discuss ideas addressing a common challenge. Introducing an innovation management platform can create a digital workplace environment in which employees can interact, collaborate & contribute ideas, and evaluate, select and provide the best innovative strategies across the organization from anywhere anytime.

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 Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.2% during 2017–2022.

Incorporating innovation management software or tools like Wave can play a major role in fostering employee engagement and involvement in innovation using techniques like gamification.

5. Transparency

Transparency boosts the culture of innovation. It is essential that employees should know what the buzz is around the ideas shared, challenges posed by the organization, etc. Often employees are left in the dark having no clue on further steps on the ideas posted. This may create chaos and trust issues in the entire innovation initiative.

In such instances, social collaboration tools can provide a platform to employees where they can collaborate, communicate, engage and share the selection process updates in real time.

According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017, Millennials want to work in places where they feel empowered and accountable – where they feel they can make a difference and have an impact.

6. Rewards And Recognition

Building an effective reward and recognition system is a key aspect of maintaining and encouraging innovation. Appreciation and recognition are essential to an outstanding workplace.

Employees want to be respected and valued by others for their contribution. When employees and their work are valued, they seem happy, loyal, satisfied with the organization.

Therefore developing an effective tool for rewards and recognition can encourage and keep employees continue to post their ideas to get recognized and rewarded their effort.

Elements of gamification in innovation management tools can help in streamlining rewards mechanism. Awarding badges/ points to the highest contributor or bestowing the winning idea can fuel competitive spirits and active participation.

As organizations strive to develop an innovative culture in the organization, it is necessary to consider implementing the right strategies to bring about the transformation from the ground up.  We suggest integrating an effective idea management software or tools into the digital workplace which can collaborate, capture, evaluate and pick innovative ideas that can help in business growth.

Looking to transform your ideas into powerful business outcomes? Check out Wave – A SharePoint based idea management tool.

Examples:

Google: Google was the first company to create a business based on innovation. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin addressed in their 2004 IPO letter that “We support our employees to contribute 20% of their time to work on the innovation that will benefit organization”.

Employees having an idea not related to their work will focus 5-10% of their time on their innovation until they demonstrate the impact of the idea. This helped Google to generate some of the most successful applications and tools including Gmail, GoogleTalk and AdSense.

General Electric: In the early 1900s, GE developed the renowned industrial research laboratory. Innovation bought GE to the uncontrolled process of scientific discovery and, over the next 50 years, won more patents than any other company in America.

Much of GE competitive prowess was an outcome of innovations in the best way – nurturing a culture of ideation. They provide a healthy environment where employees share their ideas openly and get recognised to their efforts in innovation.

They also seek external voices with unique opinions and ideas on everything from the cloud, robotics and manufacturing to public policy and the global economy.

There are many other organizations like DuPont, Procter & Gamble, Visa, Linux who owe their success to organizational innovation.

Looking for an innovation management software to capture employee ideas? Check out Wave – An innovation management tool establishes a culture of innovation in your firm to ideate and collaborate toward business challenges and stay ahead of the competition and in sync with the developments. Schedule a demo now.

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