Innovation Is to Implement New Ideas.

Difficult economic periods make it harder for large investments to be maintained however, supporting internal structures to innovate and create ideas regularly and on a smaller scale need to stay essential. Innovative organizations’ leaders need to focus, now more than ever, on their team’s ability to produce ideas and implement them. This is translated by a burst of uninterrupted changes seen on a regular basis. Actions taken today will benefit tomorrow’s leaders.

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Why Is Innovation Management Critical?

Innovation is the primary angle taken during strategic planning and is what ensures growth in organizations. However, massive investments in R&D alone cannot guarantee yields from the past, which means that the R&D department should not be the only innovation source. The return on investment is hard to justify. Today, businesses and markets evolve so rapidly that an organization needs to focus on its flexibility and learning capacity.

Why focus on small innovations? Because larger innovations are faster to be copied by and known from the competition. This is not the case with continuous innovations, which are usually smaller, but unique to an organization. By accumulating them, these adjustments will combine to a great advantage. By implementing smaller and cheaper ideas, organizations will develop the “Innovation muscle” and will be prepared for the bigger changes coming their way.

 

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Does Technology Facilitate Innovation Management?

The answer is yes. By comparing the paper version of the approach with the technological version, it has been proven that a tool allows to reduce 20% of the ideas cycle time. In other words, ideas go from being captured to implemented 20% faster.

Furthermore, it has been shown that with a digital tool, teams tend to move ideas faster before generating new ones. This phenomenon supports the view that technology facilitates follow-up meetings around these ideas, and simplifies the necessary coordination.

Source: STARS: the implementation of a Computer-Aided Employee Suggestion Management System to operationalize a continuous improvement process. Cognition, Technology & Work, 19(1), 179-190.

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How to Achieve Innovation Management?

Different innovation management exist :

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Closed Model

The closed model where the organization searches for improvements inside their own teams;

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Collaborative Model

The collaborative model where good practices are shared and technological partnerships are promoted;

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Open Innovation Model

The open innovation model where innovation is done through multiple organizations.

 

The Traps of Innovation Management

Multiple challenges await leaders who want to succeed in managing their innovation projects. We collected four of them :

01

Not Having a Structure to Manage Innovation

Innovating mobilizes a group of actors that must be organized and structured. With continuous innovation, the reflex is to believe that we need to increase the work of coordination. Scattered efforts become difficult to follow if one does not want to lose sight of current ideas. As a result, the company must identify project managers in charge of monitoring innovation efforts on a daily basis.

02

Neglect Small Innovations

Great innovations once allowed some companies to increase their competitive advantage. Nowadays, this advantage is deteriorating very quickly. Large innovation projects require a lot of investment by mobilizing human and financial resources. However, their success is not guaranteed.

Too often, companies develop or acquire new technology and underestimate all the actions that allow changes to be incorporated into work habits. All to gain a short head start.

03

Not Being Transparent About the Progress

Innovation is a collective act. We do not innovate alone. However, a company might find it difficult to support behaviors favorable to innovation in its team, such as supporting creativity, taking initiatives or developing a sense of belonging.

An employee will be more inclined to contribute to innovation if they are invited to share their ideas, if they can participate in the advancement of ideas or if they can see the ideas that are currently circulating.

04

Always Work Harder

Do you know the firefighter or octopus effect? You have several urgent requests on your desk every day, you have trouble catching your breath.
Our reflex: increase your pace. Work harder.
Although in the short term this extra efforts can pay off, not taking the time to explore other ways of working and implementing lasting solutions will cost you and your team dearly. During these times, innovation is put aside.