If you want to survive in today's supersonic-fast business world, innovation is no longer optional, it's imperative. Underscoring this same sentiment and urgency for business growth via innovation, Robert's Rules of Innovation: A 10-Step Program for Corporate Survival provides the straightforward warning: "Innovate or die." This corporate survival guide presents the best practices for today's "innovate or die" world in an easily digestible (yet powerful) fundamental framework of the 10 imperatives your business must implement in order for its innovation program to succeed.
Innovation without implementation is mere ideation. And buyer beware: this "mere" ideation can often be expensive, morale-killing, and potentially business-imploding. To prevent getting infinitely stuck in the ideation phase wasteland, remember that innovation typically doesn't fail due to a lack of creativity but rather due to a lack a discipline.
In both Part 1 and Part 2 of this three-part blog series on "Innovation and the Art of Implementation", it was emphatically stressed that since innovation is both an art and a science--in order to get results, your organization must both follow a structured, repeatable process for innovation and have a plan in place to actually implement the innovation plans. Structure doesn't exterminate creativity--it lets it germinate and grow.
Robert's Rules of Innovation II: The Art of Implementation (available December 8, 2015 on both Amazon and at selective bookstores) helps business leaders break down the barriers to innovation. This innovation process management book provides a practical, structured framework to make sure your business's culture of innovation is properly implemented, and thus poised to create profitable new products and position your company for long-term success. The content of Robert's Rules of Innovation II is deliberately structured in a way that helps break down the daunting goal of implementing innovation; as you will find as you read, the topics covered in the book naturally fall into three distinct areas:
1. The "Big Ideas" of Implementation (see Part 1 of this blog series)
◦ Key Takeaways: When it comes to enabling the big ideas and execution of innovation implementation, for the best chance of success: create an innovation mantra for your company (and stick to it!); and watch out for (and counter) innovation assassins.
2. The "People Aspects" of Implementation (see Part 2 of this blog series)
◦ Key Takeaways: Innovation implementation can frequently seem like a daunting task due to people-related issues. To succeed, you need to find and keep the right people; also, you must be aware that while in the past an organization's culture would shape its individual employees, today it's the value system of the individual employees that collectively defines the organization's culture, value, and principles. To create your optimal innovation team, remember that diversity is key and strive to put together a team that is gender neutral, takes advantage of generational opportunities, and includes an array of personality types.
3. The "Process" of Implementation (discussed below in this third and final part of this blog series)
So you've come up with some creative big ideas and assembled a killer team--but now what? Your organization needs the right steps to implement innovation; otherwise, your best and brightest ideas will dim and ultimately go dark and die (R.I.P. all those great ideas that never got implemented!). And this is no haphazard, fake-it-till-you-maybe-make-it process.
Innovation implementation calls for a robust, disciplined strategy. It can't be a one-time process, but rather must occur over and over again to form a steady flow of innovation that sustains long-term profitability. Repeat after me: "Ideate. Align. Repeat." (And then repeat it again and again and again...).
When teams collaborate in developing new innovations, having the right mix of ingredients will ensure that its overall marketability will happen relatively quickly and will enhance productivity across the board. According to Soren Kaplan, author, consultant, and educator at NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences, "The most innovative companies today realize that competitive differentiation comes as much from how they innovate as it does from what they're innovating."
Key ingredients to the process include these eight steps: Generating Ideas, Screening, Testing, Analysis, Beta Tests, Product Development Technicalities, Commercialization, and Post Launch Review.
To get results in innovation, a structured, repeatable process is essential from start to finish. To Create and Sustain innovation in order to Innovate and Thrive in this competitive marketplace, start with the fundamental framework of the 10 Key Imperatives laid out in the original Robert's Rules of Innovation book. Once you've successfully integrated these 10 Key Imperatives, it's time to drill down to a deeper level of specificity and detail for your organization. When you have the right "People" in your organization collaborating on the right "Big Ideas" for new innovation, integrating the eight steps (listed above) into your team's new product development repertoire will substantially increase your chances of success.
Remember the process is ongoing. But it only works if you work it. To find success implementing innovation at your organization, you must, "Ideate. Align. Repeat." :a structured repeatable process. By making small changes in the way you manage ideation, you can create an organization that not only is willing to innovate, but has the ability to do so.
Lastly never stop improving your skills and apply continuous improvement, non stop.