An innovation process doesn’t necessarily require you to spend days sitting and brainstorming just to get a ‘big idea’. You can use several secret tools within your organization to make an innovation process intelligent and productive.
1. Link growth strategy to innovation
Here’s how you can use innovation more strategically, connect it with your company or organization’s growth strategy. This can be done by integrating processes and teams. For instance, your growth strategy may benefit if you connect the corporate and marketing strategy with the innovation group. Your innovation plan should have a mandate to come up with maximum ideas that help establish key growth pillars.
2. Reduce senior management role in new product development
Based on a research conducted by Nielsen on innovation processes at thirty big CPG companies in the United States, companies with minimal involvement from the senior management in the product development process are able to generate 80% higher new product revenue. This approach along with other innovation practices generates approximately 650% higher returns for companies launching new products. Therefore, less involvement of senior management may be a boon to the product innovation process in an organization.
3. Keep the focus on the customer/user
A good innovation process keeps the focus on the customer or user. Everything else, including the money, automatically falls into place. Google worked to improve its search capabilities speed with the help of predictive analysis. The Instant Search feature allows users to get to the relevant results at least a couple of microseconds faster. Even though this would shorten the ad-viewing time of the user on Google and possibly affect ad revenue, the company believed the decision was apt and went ahead with it. The result? Customer satisfaction and increased revenue. Improved user experience brings in revenue sooner or later.
4. Break away from tradition
A great way to induce a good innovation process is to allow your employees to function in different environments. When workers are away from the regular office environment, it could help stimulate their minds and trigger fresh and innovative ideas. You could plan for office picnics, meeting lunches or other casual outings and these could incorporate some creative discussions.
5. Put the problem in the center
Putting the problem in the center and making it a focal point can be another great approach to innovation. It gives you a starting point to develop a good innovation process. Spend a greater part of your time in framing the core issues. This will allow you and your team to comprehend the problem or problems. Once you have a detailed overview of the problem/s at hand, it is easier to come up with an innovative path for solving them.
6. Get technical insights and support
In any organization, a good innovation process requires technical insights and support to achieve desired results. For instance, it wasn’t the auto industry that came up with the brilliant concept of ‘driverless automobiles’, rather it was the Google engineers. They conducted a research and found that several million traffic deaths are due to human errors.