3 Keys to Successful Innovation

Not all innovation efforts are successful. Learning to embrace failure is a key part of a sustained effort to build successful new products and services. There are three key areas that define successful innovation efforts.

1. Strategy

Not every innovation initiative can be a success. Not all innovation efforts have to be “game changers ” either. Using a balanced approach where investments are made in small, medium and large projects can improve the success rate of new products. Similar to an investment portfolio, you wouldn’t put all your money in one stock so why do it with your business investment.

Some companies take on too much risk or put too much emphasis on the outcome of a small number of projects. As a result the expectations are hard to manage and the the likelihood of success is no greater. In many cases, smaller projects can develop in to much larger opportunities when managed properly and with a balanced perspective.

The key is to maintain a flexible portfolio of projects that require different levels of investment and consequently different business benefits.

2. Structure

Critical to developing new ideas is a robust creative element. While fostering the exploration of new ideas companies need to ensure there is a tight linkage between the innovation teams and the rest of the organization. Creating separate entities that develop and manage products & services creates divisive lines in an organization and can stifle the process.

A free flow and exchange of ideas is what companies should strive for to cultivate the innovation process. This can be accomplished by creating a reporting and operating structure for innovation teams that breaks down any possible barriers.

3. Skills

Leaders and teams need to be populated with people that are good communicators and have strong inter personal skills. Successful innovation happens when people can interact with other functional areas smoothly and share ideas. The teams need people that have a broad business perspective and can facilitate external partnerships to push ideas from the drawing board to the test facility.

There is no ‘one’ solution for successful innovation. It comes with some trial and error as well as a commitment to a learning process. Putting strategy/structure and skills in place will help reduce the failure rate and stimulate more ideas.

To learn more about how we can help you improve your innovation efforts contact us today at 1-416-435-5290

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