The Idea Hunter's blog

Thoughts on better thinking and better presenting

Sustaining your innovation process

How can you maintain your innovation process? Below are some suggestions to get you thinking - most should apply to most companies. Compiling the initial list is easy - doing it is the hard bit!

  1. Establish the importance of innovation for your organisation and its role in the overall strategy
  2. 100% commitment from management - support, encourage, demonstrate, walk the walk
  3. Integrate innovation into organisation's culture
  4. Facilitate open communication at all levels - How is it working? What else could we be doing?
  5. Establish practical metrics for performance: non-perfect is better than none at all
  6. Recruit the right talent: open-minded, flexible, passionate, questioning, diverse backgrounds
  7. Set up access to fresh perspectives: customers, stakeholders, non customers, etc
  8. Provide creative thinking training for your people
  9. Set up an idea management system to solicit, capture and evaluate ideas (my fave - jenni)
  10. Involve your customers / consumers (open source collaboration)
  11. Look at "best practice" in model companies (Nokia, Apple, etc) to devise your own "next practise"
  12. Set up project teams that tap into your organisation's diversity (can you use external resources?)
  13. Give time and permission for experimentation and allow failures
  14. Set up a slush fund for innovation
  15. Consider skunkworks if size and nature of innovation will struggle within the parent organisation
  16. Recognise (and reward?) people's efforts
  17. Work in cycles to maintain focus and the flexibility to review and refine
  18. Innovate the innovation process: How could we do things differently?