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What is Innovation Management?

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Innovation management is the process of taking your ideas from the brainstorming stage all the way to execution. Here's how to do it right.

Innovation management is the process of taking your ideas from the brainstorming stage all the way to execution. Here's how to do it right.

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  • 1. What Is Innovation Management?
  • 2. Crowdsourcing, Sustainability, and Idea Graduation
  • 3. Innovation management is about repeatable process. Bringing a more precise, strategic process to innovation -- which often falls victim to ambiguity -- is only logical, but that doesn’t make it simple. The need for repeatable execution is still a major factor. We’ve been waiting around for an obvious pattern, but it hasn’t appeared.
  • 4. “Innovation management” sounds counterintuitive Why restrict a creative process? Somewhere along the line, people started to notice that great ideas alone weren’t enough. Getting stakeholders to buy into ideas didn’t always mean anything would happen. Big innovation killers are much the same as hurdles faced by all aspects of a business. But at the core, we’ve suffered an inability to actually plan around the promise of multiple ideas — instead of just a single, specific concept.
  • 5. That means great ideas + available resources = innovation management. Right? Wrong. So far, we’ve been okay at recognizing an idea with potential, and even mapping out the various resources we’ll need to make it a full-blown project. However, the direction we take has typically been dependent on what the idea is. It’s caused innovation to be at the mercy of available resources, and in turn, suffocate before it even gets the chance to breathe.
  • 6. But innovation doesn’t just happen, and you can’t force or predict great ideas! We can’t leave something this important up to chance anymore, even if it’s hard to mechanize something rooted in creativity. We need a process that supports ingenuity but still follows a tactical blueprint. Innovation management allows for the selection, capture, and implementation of great ideas.
  • 7. Innovation management helps us develop a way of responding to market change with fresh perspectives, and take calculated risks with more to rely on than just a pair of crossed fingers.
  • 8. So, how do we make innovation repeatable?
  • 9. Crowdsourcing. •  Crowdsourcing is about generating a ton of ideas en masse. •  It’s a way of engaging people to provide resources outside of standard organizational means. •  Basically, you get access to widespread genius without having to do a whole lot.
  • 10. Idea Graduation. •  Vet possibilities that are brought to the surface by crowdsourcing according to business impact. •  But, let the crowd do the work by implementing processes like Pairwise Voting, which allows participants to select ideas through careful consideration and comparison. •  Remember to involve key stakeholders so that potential idea-gems don’t get lost in the fray.
  • 11. Strategy, strategy, strategy. •  Be armed with a plan. •  After you’ve chosen one or more ideas that made it past the crowdsourcing and voting gates, it’s time perform risk analyses, data aggregation, and resource assessments. •  Think about schedules, budgets, and team communications, as well as how project management will be handled.
  • 12. Do it again. And again. And again. •  No process is worth much if you can’t do it more than once. •  Be clear about what that process is. Lay it out from start (engaging and ideating) to finish (implementing and executing). •  Communicate! Tell your people about it, and then encourage them to participate, generate, and iterate.
  • 13. Innovation management isn’t really all that different from managing other processes.
  • 14. But it’s all about the framework — creating a system that aligns with your company goals, and weaving clear, core principles into the everyday practices of your business.
  • 15. Want to learn more? To find out how Mindjet can help your organization implement an innovation management program for repeatable success, check out the latest release of SpigitEngage. Learn more about innovation management by subscribing to Conspire, Mindjet’s company blog.