More and more businesses are becoming aware of the importance of innovation within their company. As a result, there has been a huge increase in companies looking for a proper innovation platform to generate ideas with. Yet, there are many companies who have tried to implement innovation, and have then come back to say that they have failed completely. There are numerous reasons for this happening. However, two are of particular importance. The first is that companies often install this type of software without formalizing the framework of innovation. This means it is there, but people don’t really know what to do with it. The second big reason is that companies forget to ensure their overall strategy is tied to new initiatives.
Linking Your Strategy to Initiatives
Presuming that you have formalized your framework of innovation, and everybody within your organization knows what is expected of them and trusts that you are being transparent in your approach, you are ready to start the process of innovation. To turn this into a success, however, you have to make sure that your overarching strategy ties in properly to your innovation initiatives. This is easier said than done, however, particularly when you consider that it means you need to gain your understanding of your long and short term goals, and what you aim to do in order to achieve those.
Do not be disheartened by the fact that it comes across as difficult to link your strategy and innovation together. What you need to figure out is a way to make sure that the ideas that are submitted through your platform are focused and of high quality. You can achieve that through a reasonably simple process: “idea challenges”.
Idea challenges are short term campaigns, whereby people are encouraged to come up with a solution for a clearly defined program. This concept is something that has been used across organizations for a long time. One example is the IDEAS Global Challenge by MIT. What they do is create a specific problem, and give teams a set period of time to come up with a solution as part of their particular community. This works, because it means people work together in a focused manner, trying to reach a tight deadline.
There are two main advantages to using idea challenges:
- They ensure everybody is focused on an exact problem, rather than being give free reign on anything they want to talk about.
- They make the matter more urgent, which means people are motivated by the idea that they will soon see results as well.
Simply put, by using an idea challenge, you will have the opportunity to make sure your organizational strategy and your innovation initiatives are properly aligned. If you do a challenge every two to four weeks, for instance, you can really put the two in sync. Furthermore, it gives you the opportunity to effectively introduce the idea of innovation across your organization as a whole.The Reasons why Innovation Often Fails