“Innovation” is a true buzzword nowadays. You will see in in mission statements, marketing, branding, positioning statements, and advertising. It is also used within the strategic developments of most businesses today. But just because businesses talk about managing innovation doesn’t mean they are actually doing it, or at least not properly. A recent study found that most organizations say that innovation is one of their top priorities, but very few companies actually know how to manage it.
Tips to Manage Innovation
Have you thought about innovation within your own company? If so, you probably don’t really know how you can get started. One of the reasons for this is because it can so seem so difficult to measure results, and we live in a society in which results have to be seen straight away. Indeed, one of the problems with innovation is that finding a starting point is so hard. Hopefully, however, the following ten pointers may just steer you in the right direction.
- Make sure you have a vision that is clear and very focused and that places innovation at its heart. This vision has to be seen across your organization.
- Don’t think of a single end goal. Rather, think about a few goals that you can manage, so that you define what you expect your innovation efforts to actually do for you.
- Have a system in place that allows you to track innovation and, thereby, manage it.
- Have a sharing forum in place. This is probably the most important thing. You cannot innovate unless everybody is on board, and everybody is able to participate. All members of your organization have to be able to put forward their ideas. This could be online, face to face, or in any other way that works for you.
- Use brainstorming. Brainstorming was another buzzword that seems to have to gone out of favor. But it is a hugely important tool that really works and could help you come up with some really innovative ideas.
- Have an innovation team in place. They are not the decision-makers, as innovation has to be a team effort. But they can be responsible for collating all the ideas, setting up forums, checking whether goals are being met, and so on.
- Research what your partners, networks, and competition is doing. Everybody is innovating, and you can learn from them about what does and does not work.
- Break your routine. This is your personal contribution to embracing change. Even something small such as changing your regular coffee shop can help you get going on this path.
- Get a mentor or a business coach.
- Be proactive. Have some challenges and questions in place that you can ask to encourage innovation. It is about understanding that strategic ideas can come from anywhere, you just need to give people the opportunity to come up with those ideas.
Put these 10 things in place, and you will instantly see things change. Embrace it!