Innovation

We’ve all been at some point in one of those meetings where we’re asked to come up with out of the box ideas for new campaigns, products, or solutions to various issues. Sometimes we might feel under pressure, but even so, the approach can bring results, especially in smaller organizations.

However, these are usually quick fixes, and when it comes to staying ahead of the curve and be innovative, you need more than a brainstorming session.

While there’s nothing wrong with these methods, on the long term you can’t expect great results from ideation if you don’t have a plan to turn ideas into tangible innovations.

A well-planned process for generating, managing, and implementing ideas gives new opportunities that otherwise might have been missed. For this reason, in today’s article we’ll be focusing on some of the challenges and best practices in planning an internal ideation process that will enable larger organizations to raise their game.

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Organizations need to continuously improve if they want to stay in the game, maintain their competitive advantage and achieve long-term success. Even though most of us are aware of how important it is to strive to get better, both at an individual and at an organizational level, we often fail to make continuous improvement a regular practice.

Continuous improvement is common sense for most of us. It is something the majority strives to achieve whether it’s for personal or for professional development. We want to get better, to improve because it gives us meaning, makes us feel better and it’s rewarding.

But just like New Year’s resolutions, after the excitement of starting a new project, things slowly die down. We lose interest, we get back to old habits, and stop improving, until a new project emerges, and the pattern reoccurs.

Sustaining continuous improvement, as straightforward as it seems, is also difficult. So, in today’s article we’ll explain how to create a continuous improvement plan or program, stick to it, and make it a recurrent practice in your organization.

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I recently read a couple of excellent articles by Nick Skillicorn, and Prof. Rita McGrath where both discuss the challenges and intricacies involved in structuring and governing innovation within a large organization.

This is a classic topic that every corporate innovator has without a doubt come across, and it’s also one where “the right approach” is often quite elusive.

Inspired by those articles, we’ll present the most common archetypes and then dig a little deeper on the topic and share our thoughts and experiences to help you figure out how innovation should be structured within your organization.

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The value of intangible assets in organizations is nowadays five times greater than the one of tangible assets. In fact, 84% of value in S&P companies is currently represented by intangible assets, like intellectual property, knowledge, or brand recognition, compared to merely 16% for tangible ones.

Even so, some leaders still have difficulties in grasping the power of knowledge and how it can be leveraged and managed to drive more innovation in their organizations. One of the biggest challenges for these leaders is that the majority of knowledge that makes more innovation happen is tacit, and therefore it’s harder to tap into its full potential through the traditional methods: processes, procedures and policies available in databases and documents.

Unfortunately, companies that were not able to keep up with these changes in value distribution faced difficulties and were surpassed by those that leveraged tacit knowledge better. Now, the question that arises is how top companies tap into the full potential of tacit knowledge.

So, in today’s article we’ll explain how different types of knowledge trigger innovation, what is the true value of tacit knowledge, as well as some practical tips on how to make the most of tacit knowledge.

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The effects of cultural differences for innovation are an interesting and extremely multifaceted topic.

For most of us, it probably goes without saying that cross-cultural and multicultural capabilities are crucial in today’s globalized and hyperconnected world, and innovation is no exception. These capabilities are especially important if you’re working on it in a large international organization, as many of our customers are.

Such an organization must obviously think about how to adapt new innovative products and services to the cultures and unique characteristics of different markets and regions. But, in addition to that, they also need to manage the cultural differences within their organization while trying to innovate. Given that we have customers all over the world, it’s a theme we often get asked about.

And, of course, there’s also the age-old debate about the cultures of certain regions or countries being better suited to innovation to begin with.

So, in this today’s article, we’ll dive deeper on this nuanced topic and each of those three themes around cultural differences in innovation. We’ll also end by providing you with practical advice on how to look at and take these into account in your innovation work.

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Many would-be innovators obsess over ideas, wait for inspiration to strike, and believe that with the right idea, success can miraculously come overnight.

However, as we’ve written before, that’s just not going to happen. In fact, usually the only thing separating the winning innovators from the rest is execution. It makes all the difference in the world, and yet, it’s still a vastly underrated capability.

As part of our coaching program, we’ve asked hundreds of corporate innovators and innovation leaders to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses. And, by far, the most common answer is that they’re great at coming up with ideas and thinking about the big picture but lack the patience and discipline to see things through to results.

As such, it’s safe to say that as a community, we innovators need to take a hard look in the mirror and admit that this an area where most of us have a lot of room for improvement.

So, in today’s article, we’ll explore the topic of executing innovation in more detail to try to understand what the problems associated with it are, and what successful execution of an innovation really takes. This is designed to be a guide to help leaders get it right, but I think there’s a lot that every innovator regardless of job title can learn from.

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Every innovation starts with an idea. We all have ideas, even great ones, yet few people can bring them to life, and even fewer can turn them into innovations.

The topic of how to turn ideas into innovations has sparked many conversations and filled the internet and libraries with potential solutions. However, we realized that many online articles on this topic barely scratch the surface or don’t dig deep enough to explore the ins and outs of turning ideas into innovations.

The reason behind this is understandable. Bringing ideas to life is not easy and there is no silver bullet that can miraculously work for everyone everywhere. To add to the difficulty of implementation, ideas come in all shapes and forms, some more daring than others, which makes it even more difficult to come up with a practical roadmap.

However, as part of our mission to help customers turn more ideas into innovation, we want to give you the tools and information that can help you create your own roadmap for converting more ideas into reality.

We wrote extensively about innovation, ideation, and how to best manage ideas, but we haven’t covered this comprehensive topic in much detail. And to be honest, we can’t promise to provide all solutions and answers, but we are ambitious enough to try and provide as much value as possible, and hopefully inspire you to pursue your ideas and take them to completion. So, without further ado, let’s get to it!

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