November 13, 2007

Innovation what is it?

I was at a conference on Product Innovation metrics last week. My goal was to go there an learn what my customers or prospective customers are wrestling with regarding innovation - how to measure there success and if they are on track. I heard plenty of good stuff it was well worth it, but as with all things we always kind of expect it's going to be one thing, and as you guessed it turns out to be many things that makes an organization successful at innovating. The take-aways for me:

  • Innovation is about people: to use a basket ball analogy - think of your starting five - now ask yourself what are they doing right now - this will tell you right away if you're putting your money where your mouth is regarding innovation. The answer is simple they should be talking with customers,part of your advanced concept team. If they are stuck putting fires out - it won't be long that you will be out!
  • Innovation doesn't all come from within - too often we resort back to the not invented here syndrome. Nimble organizations must be able to tap the ideas from outside. Think of it this way - do you believe your organization has all of the smartest people in the world on the payroll - The answer is no - so figure ways to tap the brain power outside your organization
  • The only thing that counts regarding innovation is your payback. If you're not making measurable new $ because of your innovation - you aren't investing your money right.
  • Innovation is not necessarily about inventing new things - the biggest pay backs out there are in New business models. Business Model really means assembling existing techniques, services, technologies in new and genuine ways. Too often we think Innovation as putting someone on the moon.
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