Generally there are key characteristics of an organization that enable the ability for sustained innovation. These include trust amongst stakeholders in the organization, clarity and coordination of strategic objectives and an emphasis on learning even overcoming the fear of failure to do so. For a specific innovation project it is easy for stakeholders to “commit” to an expected outcome only to find that they never achieve it. The essential alignment is the necessary commitment to the required path to achieve that outcome. Understanding how your innovation initiative’s requirements mesh with your organization’s capabilities is one of the key steps in understanding what it will take to succeed. Without this, stakeholders don’t know what they are committing to nor do they have confidence that the organization is capable of achieving success.
We work with innovation teams to develop a plan and assess the organizational readiness for implementation. This is an essential step in highlighting key activities that must be achieved to successfully innovate. Examples may include:
- Identifying critical skill sets without which you are doomed to failure.
- Prioritizing the creation of a distribution channel or acquisition of a partner without which you will never reach the market you intend to serve.
- Modifying or creating an alternative process (for purchasing, design approvals, etc) necessary to enable the project timing needed to succeed.
- Ensure the commitment of requisite functional resources necessary to meet the quality and timing objectives of the project rather than getting what is available when it is available.
- Clearly elucidating and communicating the strategic objective of the effort.
- Identify and remove barriers to trust to enable the risk of failure that may be necessary to quickly remove remaining critical uncertainties.
- The Scientific Method: What Goes Around Comes Around
- Mind the Gap(s): Become More Innovative as You Innovate
- Achieving Innovation, The Essential Characteristics of an Innovative Organization