As the New Year approaches, it is the perfect time to reexamine the Innovation efforts for your organization. A strategy for sustainable innovation is key to any company’s survival, and if executed successfully, will lead to profitable growth and increased shareholder value.
With a new year and starting with a blank slate, it’s important to set your goals for 2012. What changes would you like to see within your organization? How do you plan on developing the next marketplace showstopper?
Here are some tips that will help guide the Innovation efforts.
- If you’re unsure where your company’s current innovation program stands, take the free innovation audit at www.innovationcoach.com/solutions. The short audit gets you thinking about what elements can be bolstered, and the long audit gives a more detailed organization overview.
- Define the desired culture. Quantify your goal, whether it’s a sales figure or number of new products you hope to achieve, and this will help justify the resources to be allocated. Endorse a mantra like, “At Least One Innovation per Year.”
- Decide how you will recognize and reward successes along the way (and don’t forget to praise failures or learning experiences too!) Motivation is a powerful tool for the savvy innovation champion.
- Protect your intellectual property. If your organization doesn’t already have an IP lawyer, it is definitely time to consider appointing one. Intellectual property law protects your company’s most valuable asset – patents. With competitors eager to reverse engineer and copy marketplace innovations, patents are part of an offensive and defensive strategy.
- Develop a structured repeatable process, or a standardized guideline for the new product development strategy that examines quality, capability, and capacity for managing projects. Once you’ve clearly defined the stages and tasks for the NPD process, stick to your strategic vision for sustainable Innovation.
Robert’s Rules of Innovation give 10 imperatives to create and sustain innovation. They are: Inspire, No Risk No Innovation, New Product Development Process, Ownership, Value Creation, Accountability, Training and Coaching, Idea Management, Observe and Measure, and Net Result Net Reward.
For more tips on how to apply each of the imperatives, see “Robert’s Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival.”