Why You Need a Formalised Approach to Business Innovation Management

Stuart Sinclair - July 25, 2013

If new ideas and inspirations are to be successfully converted into real benefits, business innovation management needs to take centre stage in your organisation.

Most executives, presented with this statement, would quite rightly ask, why? Here are nine good reasons to support your business innovation initiatives against doubtful CEOs and finance officers.

Establishes a common understanding of business innovation

Innovation means different things to different people, ranging from incremental improvements to radical inventions or interventions. Innovation management systems set a common language for the process of turning ideas into reality.

Ensures consistent execution of the innovation process

Traditionally, organisational change has usually been driven by an individual or a team of champions. However, if they leave or change jobs, the momentum and energy can be lost. Innovation management ensures that there is a consistent system in place to continually inspire, execute and measure innovation, so that it becomes self-driven, rather than personality-led.

Enables coordination of innovation activities

Traditional ides and suggestions schemes suffered from two old truisms: "The right hand doesn't know what the left is doing" and "Reinventing the wheel." By bringing all innovation into one system regardless of the department, location or personnel involved, everyone can be kept in the loop and allocated responsibilities, avoiding duplication of effort or repetition of previously-attempted unsuccessful solutions.

Facilitates transfer of best practice/ideas

The clear benefit of a coordinated innovation management system is that ideas and solutions can flow across departmental lines. If a department in one office has come up with a solution that could solve a problem in another department elsewhere, both the process and solution can be easily repeated, and, if necessary, adapted to the new scenario.

Allows innovation from teams and individuals

Inspiration can strike at any time, to anyone, so it's important that an innovation management system allows individuals to record their 'eureka' moment almost as it happens. Equally, teams can be highly innovative simply through the process of discussing challenges and issues between themselves. What innovation management makes simple is the process of anyone contributing to the success of any idea, regardless of where that idea originated.

A failure to innovate can hinder the success of any organisation. That’s why we  created our own innovation white paper – to help you flourish in an  ever-changing economic climate.

Establishes ownership and responsibility

"Credit where credit's due" is very important when creating a culture of open innovation, so that the contributor of a great idea can follows its progress, from initial submission through to implementation. By acknowledging everyone who in turn contributes to that idea as it progresses, the responsibility for its success or rejection is shared, avoiding 'the blame game' if ideas ultimately do not live up to expectations.

Removes structural barriers to innovation

Ideas are hard to pin down. People may find it tricky to articulate their innovative thoughts, or struggle to know how to implement them. They may work unusual hours or remotely, so communicating a non-essential. "unstructured" piece of information might be difficult. An innovation management system removes such logistical challenges by allowing people to discuss their idea in a safe online environment that removes the barriers of location, departments, disciplines, shifts and even time zones.

Defines measurable outcomes

If ideas are not properly assessed and planned for, it can be near impossible to properly assess their impact once they are implemented into the workplace. An innovation management system allows for a full, logistical and financial assessment, followed by a proper implementation plan, so businesses can measure actual outcomes against the financial and resources costs.

Scalable rates of innovation and resourcing

If innovation is encouraged but not managed, so many submissions may be received that a bottleneck develops. Ideas stack up, waiting for their turn, and as a result, innovation stalls. An innovation management system allows businesses to regulate the flow of ideas to a sustainable level without losing impetus, or over-stretching resources and staff time.

If you'd like to learn more benefits of innovation management, Talkfreely have additional resources, such as our White Paper, to help you put the case for innovation management in your business. or just pick up the phone and talk - we're always happy to help.

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