We believe innovation is a journey of learning over time. As organizations learn and grow, they naturally mature in their understanding and execution of innovation. A great place to begin is by thinking about the connection between innovation and strategy. Ask yourself these questions:
- Why are we engaging in innovation? What business objectives are we servicing through innovation?
- Are we engaging external thought leaders, partners, academics, etc. in pursuit of our strategic growth outcomes?
- How aligned are our leaders, managers and employees on what innovation means at our company?
- How well are we developing capabilities and competencies within the organization to support the achievement of innovation outcomes?
- Have we defined what successful innovation looks like?
- Do we have clear methods for exploring new opportunity spaces, ideation and scaling our innovations?
How did your organization do? What we’ve found is a lot of companies begin with crowdsourcing and ideation, and quickly find that is not enough to fill significant growth gaps. The strongest innovators have learned the power of clear objectives and executive alignment as the innovation journey begins. This power of focus helps teams align resources and support the innovative thinkers latent in any organization.
Strong innovators are also taking a close look at their internal capabilities. They’re considering their capacity for collaboration, creating breakthrough innovations, scaling up their concepts into market leading products and services, and managing a portfolio across a variety of time horizons.
Innovation is an on-going evolution. As you consider your own journey of innovation maturity, we believe you’ll find it’s about asking the right questions and taking pragmatic actions that lead to results.
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