Tuesday, June 16, 2015

How to Assess and Improve Innovation Management Maturity

Make the innovation process as visible, company-wide, as possible, but not too rigid.

For many organizations, innovations are still serendipitous. However, serendipity can be planned into an innovation project. Serendipity is not a lucky accident, and it can be planned and worked upon. It has a lot of determination and divine providence for those who believe in that. Serendipity will always play some part in the innovation effort, but innovation is both art and science,  Innovation Management is a scientific management discipline, how do you assess innovation management maturity, though?

Innovation Management is an overarching management discipline that needs to weave many key business factors into an innovation playbook. A quick Innovation Management maturity assessment includes:
-Business culture: it relates to mission and vision, less to innovation itself. Some companies have relatively high business culture itself, but no innovation maturity.
-Leadership: proactive/reactive evaluation is ok, but proactivity itself doesn't imply necessarily the innovativeness.
-Resources: this is really the category related to innovation. Three clear levels of financial support of innovation: financed as needed, limited budgeting, continual allocation.
-Processes: innovation processes evaluation is clear, but the process of "planned innovation" shouldn’t be too rigid. Planning in some steps is ok, but chaos to some extent is necessary.
-Monitoring and measuring: it was claimed it equals to sustainability. One should think that monitoring or measuring is the "philosopher's stone" of innovation. Also, other categories are necessary for sustainable innovation. Without a positive culture of innovation, monitoring/measuring innovation is nothing!
-Improvement: from the answers offered, it is hard to find out, whether "improvement" relates to the innovation process itself or to the processes/products that are to be improved by the innovation. Obviously, the first applies, but in that case, it should be within the category "processes," because you can't imagine a successful innovation process without its continuous improvement.

There are many business culture requirements call out for the standards: How can you innovate without planning? When you have a formal innovation management system, why would you not monitor and measure its effectiveness in achieving your innovation objectives, all of which are subject to continuous improvement? The innovation process must be open to new insights that should come from the persons involved in the program. Give yourself an opportunity to build on others' know-how your own approach and vision about innovation. The truth will come out of the box. There are reports covering both the innovation process and measuring the value of ideas.

Make the innovation process as visible, company-wide, as possible, but not too rigid: A charter makes sense only for a company that is relatively new to the innovation process and that has no established "structure" or "culture" yet. However, this represents a solid majority of existing companies. Establish a gallery of Ideas-in-Motion in a high-traffic area near Innovation HQ. Immediately engage folks who stop and look, and invite any feedback. Let them know their feedback is valued and how. Very often, a brief chat will yield a new, interesting spin-off. Point out "what just happened," how easily anyone can stimulate new thinking, or help validate an idea! Emphasize that they have been part of an exciting process and to please check back often. Make a suggestion, offer an opinion. Think of other ways to include "outsiders" as "Innovation-excitement participants." "Idea-World is a Fun place!"A corporation needs the processes and culture to sustain cross-boundary engagement to discover external ideas. And an internal culture is motivated to accept external ideas and rapidly integrate them into innovative internal ideas.

An innovation measurement framework and innovation quotients: A key feature of the measurement framework offered here is that it integrates both numerical and qualitative information that relates to innovation success. In many companies, a pervasive obsession for purely numerical success indicators sweeps aside much of the softer, more qualitative information that is crucial in understanding the health and well-being of the firm's innovation efforts. Innovation Quotients measure the value of new ideas:
(1) Tier one provides a comprehensive assessment that identifies the key dimensions of system performance and, in radar chart format, provides a graphical overview of areas of strength and causes for concern.
(2) Tier two includes a radar chart for each dimension identified in Tier one. These charts drill down on the critical success factors that underpin each of the higher-level performance dimensions.

There are many reasons to cause innovation failure. Innovation fails because there are too many disconnects that occur between the birth of a vision or concept and the process of turning it into a reality, lack of information actually gathered for the innovative ideas that come up. if one has innovative ideas, there's a lack of investment support, etc. But the success rate of innovation can be improved through assessing innovation maturity and continue to optimize key success factors for innovation management more effectively.


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