The Innovation Capabilitity

April 24, 2007  

Innovation Capabilities

For innovation to be repeatable, it needs to be treated like any other business capability (e.g., finance, HR, or sales). All capabilities are comprised of five key components:

innovation capability diagramStrategy
A strategy is needed to decide when, where, and how innovation will be used within the organization. It also needs to address “why” innovation is important. Are you looking primarily for a new pipeline of products? Do you want to better serve your customers? Are you looking to create a more nimble, flexible, and adaptable organization? For one company, the innovation mantra was “2 by 10” – to become a $2 billion business by 2010. This made it clear to all employees why innovation is needed and what innovation must deliver.

Measures and Performance
Innovation, as with any capability, needs to be measurable and measured. You will want to measure the value of your innovation pipeline. But who will be measured? What kinds of measures are used? How will you measure less tangible values such as adaptability? How will you relate innovation to overall business outcomes and results?

Process (and infrastructure)
Innovation requires an end-to-end process for targeting, generating, and selecting innovative ideas. Therefore, to help organizations make innovation repeatable and sustainable, we developed the CRACK IT! process.

People
Your people are your culture. If you want a culture of innovation, your employees must embrace actions, values, beliefs, skills, and language that are consistent with this objective. Everyone, at all levels, must embrace failures while giving up control.

Technology
Innovative companies use technology to enable collaboration between employees, customers, and suppliers. Decisions are supported by data. Ideas are captured in idea banks to facilitate the dissemination of innovative thinking. These technologies enable communication at all levels, across all organizations, and across business boundaries.

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