Maximizing the Impact of Your Innovation Program

Innovation is rightly labeled the hallmark of entrepreneurship. In fact, research shows that 81% of respondents at digitally mature companies cite innovation as a strength of their organizations, compared with 36% from developing businesses and only 10% from early-stage companies. Whatever stage of the innovation journey you are in, unlocking the full potential of your program should be a priority.

The first step to maximizing the impact of your innovation program is to build a winning strategy with the help of the following checklist.

Support company-wide innovation

If you truly want your innovation program to become the driving force that puts your company ahead of the competition, it must look to acquire ideas from every corner. A company-wide approach to innovation statistically yields more ideas, which is why developing a corporate innovation strategy that actively encourages involvement from intrapreneurs at every level of the business is vital. When you have concepts arriving from multiple perspectives, all within the context of the company, it’s very likely that successful ideas will emerge.


Focus on the customer, not profits

As shown in the case of ZF, the best innovations often revolve around customer-centric ideas. Desirability is one of the most significant metrics to consider when working on concepts. Understanding your place in the market and making a commitment to providing the client added value doesn’t only guide intrapreneurs through the idea formulation process, it also allows employees to quickly identify innovations that are destined for failure far sooner. Conversely, if you focus on profits only, you risk that ideas will fail to resonate with clients.


Aim big

Innovation is broken into three main types (radical, incremental, and disruptive). Frankly, all three have key roles to play in the process. However, it should be noted that many organizations limit themselves by focusing solely on incremental innovation. It is widely acknowledged that achieving a 10-fold improvement in something is easier than achieving a mere 10 percent improvement. This is precisely why both radical innovation and disruptive innovation deserve significant attention. A psychologically safe space in which employees are comfortable with shooting big, even if unsuccessful, will transform your venture.


Embrace iteration

While it’s important to look for big developments, you must avoid the threat of only accepting perfection. Even the successes often require iteration and releasing innovations with a view to improving them can be a key step on the path to building a robust innovation program. It is the only way to analyze real client data, which builds upon the success accomplished during the prototyping phases. This comprehensive and structured approach will organically see attention focus on the right innovations while clearly showing where tweaks are needed.


Let technology lead the way

Tech insights will often identify how innovations develop or plant the seeds for the next idea. Therefore, you should be eager to let tech guide your employees toward clear and informed decisions. While most  companies want to use Artificial Intelligence, only 12% are using it at an AI maturity level that achieves a strong competitive advantage. Through augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), you can also simulate scenarios. In turn, the process from innovation to implementation will become quicker, cheaper, and less impacted by failed ideas.


Be open to collaboration

As already highlighted by the need for a company-wide approach, the old tactics of letting a select group work solo on their ideas are very outdated. In addition to using data analytics and digital visualizations to their full potential, innovation programs should celebrate the power of collaboration. rready's flagship product KICKBOX, makes it easier for colleagues to collaborate in real-time while also gaining ideas from a network of external sources. Meanwhile, accepting valuable inputs  from clients can also spark new ideas to strengthen your program.


Invest in the right tools for innovation

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must invest in an employee innovation program that has all the  key features, while also providing the flexibility that allows employees to work on ideas while they are fresh. KICKBOX by rready is the ultimate solution. Its frameworks support organic project development, and a host of templates, data visualization tools, and testing facilities provide clarity at every stage. 

To learn more about introducing KICKBOX as your employee innovation program, call us to schedule a demo today.

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