How to Systematize Innovation at Your Company -part 4-
In my experience, what companies need to start innovating are not good ideas, but a process that allows them to capture and evaluate ideas and select which ones to deploy scarce resources of the organization.
In many companies the excess is creativity. The problem is they do not know what to do with so many ideas. This is why it is very important to define what are the criteria by which they assess the ideas, who are the people who will evaluate the ideas and how they will make decisions to select the best ideas.
As a manager told me: “We are very innovative, so we just do not know how many ideas we have and which ones have the greatest potential to improve company profits.” It is in the process of evaluating ideas where produces the highest bottleneck of innovation in most companies.
An important aspect that should be clear to the employees of the company is that not all the ideas they propose can be implemented and that this should not deaminated.
In fact, only a very small percentage of ideas becomes true innovations, while the rest will go to the dump or the basket of ideas to be incubation time because they have not arrived. The final innovation is a numbers game where “you have to kiss many frogs to find a princess.”
Although his company has the best process innovation in the world, this will not work if you do not develop a culture of innovation to support it. The process of innovation and culture are like the yin and yang of innovation. Because in the end, companies do not innovate, innovate are those persons and innovation, by its nature, involves exploring uncharted waters, which come with risks.
If you do not have a culture that encourages entrepreneurship, experimentation and intelligent risk taking, his staff will never do anything very innovative. That is why the fundamental question that I do I know if a company has an innovative culture is: “What happens here when someone makes a mistake? The answer I hear is that most organizations are very heavily punished failure and that is why the staff prefers to do the same as always, that is, perpetuating the status quo instead of trying to do different things.
In this sense, innovation is like walking a tightrope because it takes enormous courage to think and act differently within organizations. However, there is a great reward for those who dare to take their ideas to the other end of the rope and turn them into innovations. Because of this passion and perseverance are two key elements in any culture of innovation.
credit to: Mario Morales
image source: www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/downturn.jpg