Do you ever find yourself bombarded with incredible ideas at any random time? You may be driving to your office, having coffee with colleagues, or taking a shower and coming up with new ideas. In fact, every human being comes up with over 7000 thoughts every day. Although your ideas may be new and out-of-the-box, they may not be entirely innovative.
What are innovative ideas?
An innovative idea, creates a positive organizational change, such as increased revenue, market share, or customer satisfaction. Such ideas are quite rare and hence precious.
Now, let’s take a step back. One mind, over 7000 thoughts, and perhaps 1-2 innovative ideas. The competition is high and this is the foremost reason why you may lose these innovative ideas easily as they slip out of your mind, or get lost in conversations.
So, how can we stop losing these great ideas and make the most of them? The answer is neither simple nor complicated. It merely lies in two simple words: Innovation Management.
What is innovation management?
While we were researching this topic, we found a lot of definitions of innovation management. Here are a few pointers that describe what innovation management means:
- In simple words, it is capturing new ideas implementing them, and turning them into a reality.
- Innovation management consists of various steps included in a structured process. This consists of capturing, improving, organizing, and evaluating valuable insights. The ones that may have not emerged through any other way or normal processes.
- Innovation management involves capturing innovations from employees at all levels, fostering collaboration in the workplace, and recognizing employees’ efforts. These are the vital building blocks of innovation management.
- Innovation management means coming up with or capturing ideas. Prioritizing and executing them. For example, by generating new products or services for your customers.
Innovation management is all about making sure people have the freedom and resources to think up innovative ideas and bring them to life. This can be done by encouraging your employees to try new things, having different departments work together, spending money on research, gathering customer feedback, and making sure everyone in the company is dedicated to creating something new.
What are types of innovation management?
1. Disruptive Innovation Management:
You have got to keep an eye out for disruptive technologies or market changes that could shake up your industry. That’s the focus of disruptive innovation management. It’s all about being proactive and thinking ahead so you can stay ahead of the competition. It takes months or years to plan and manage these innovations on a large scale.
2. Radical Innovation Management:
If you’re looking to shake things up and create something truly new, this is the type of innovation management for you. It is like the next best step to disruptive innovation. It’s all about taking bold risks and creating products, services, or business models that completely change the game.
3. Incremental Innovation Management:
If you prefer to play it a bit safer, incremental innovation management is for you. This approach focuses on making small improvements to what you already have. Although small-scale, these changes require a definite approach and a plan before implementation and can result in changed customer satisfaction.
4. Open Innovation Management:
Want to tap into the creativity of others? With open innovation management, you actively seek input from outside your organization, like customers, suppliers, or anyone who might have a great idea. It can lead to more ideas, faster development, and a more well-rounded approach. Unlike closed innovation where you capture ideas internally, by open innovation the approach is widened.
5. Architectural Innovation Management:
This type of innovation management takes a step back and rethinks the structures and systems that make your organization tick. It’s about creating new and improved processes, products, and services from the ground up. If your business already has a successful innovation process in one area, you can apply the same across the entire “architecture” for different applications. It’s a big investment but can pay off in a big way.
How managing innovation can benefit your business?
Practicing proper innovation management brings numerous benefits to innovators, managers, researchers, and directors. And in this article, we have discussed 7 major ones. So, let’s dig right into them.
1. Increased efficiency
As innovation management helps organizations to streamline their processes, it reduces waste and increases the company’s efficiency. It helps your business identify areas where improvements can be made. For example, your company can use innovation management to identify and implement more efficient manufacturing processes, reducing production costs and increasing profit margins.
2. Competitive advantage
Innovation management can help organizations to remain competitive and relevant in their respective industries. When you’re capturing amazing ideas and constantly innovating, you get the advantage of setting yourself apart from the crowd. Your business can differentiate itself from its competitors and maintain a competitive edge. This could include developing new and unique products, improving existing products, or finding new and more efficient ways of operating. Companies that consistently innovate are more likely to stay ahead of the competition and maintain their market position.
3. Improved products and services
By fostering a culture of innovation, organizations can more effectively develop new and improved products. Innovation leaders can identify customer needs and develop new products and services to meet those needs with the help of innovation management. Collating feedback from customers and incorporating it into new product design and development, enterprises can create products and services that meet the evolving needs of the market. This can lead your business to achieve increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.
4. Increased revenue
By introducing new and improved products, businesses can tap into new markets and increase their revenue. For instance, a company that develops a new and innovative product in a growing market can increase its market share and boost its sales. In addition, the development of new products and services can help your company expand into new markets, creating new revenue streams.
5. Employee engagement
Encouraging innovation and collaboration, innovation management can improve employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction. Giving your employees a platform to contribute their ideas makes them feel their ideas are valued and have a direct impact on the success of the business. As a result, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their work. This can lead to increased productivity and improved performance, as well as lower turnover rates.
6. Better risk management
Managing innovation helps businesses evaluate and manage risk associated with new ideas, reducing the likelihood of failure. By conducting thorough market research, developing prototypes, and conducting pilot tests, businesses can identify and lessen potential risks early on. This helps companies make informed decisions about which ideas are worth pursuing and which are not, reducing the likelihood of costly failures.
By continuously innovating, businesses can ensure they remain relevant and adaptive in an ever-changing market. With the development of new products and services and continuous improvements in the existing ones, companies can stay ahead of market trends and maintain their competitiveness in the long term. This helps companies stay relevant and ensures long-term success. The decision making also enhances by gathering and analyzing data and insights. Innovation management can help organizations to make more informed decisions and achieve better outcomes.
How to enhance your innovation management process?
Even if you are currently satisfied with your ways of managing innovation, there can always be room for improvement. So here we have discussed the 6 methods that you can use to give your innovation process a nice pathway to grow.
1. Experimentation is key
We have said a thousand times that your employees are your biggest assets when it comes to innovation. The need is to encourage your team to take risks and test new ideas, even if it means embracing failure as part of the process. This way, you will be able to improve team communication and create an environment where innovation can thrive.
2. Collaboration is crucial
Bringing together cross-functional teams can lead to the generation of fresh ideas and innovative solutions. Though it is harder to do for teams working remotely, it is not impossible. An innovation capture tool can help you with that. The more diverse the perspectives, the better! It is extremely important to get ideas from every team member because you don’t know just what idea may be the game changer for your business.
3. Don’t skimp on R&D
Investing in research and development is a must if you want to stay ahead of the competition and keep coming up with new and exciting ideas. Managing and encouraging innovation can lead to the development of new products that your customers will love.
4. See things from a different angle
At one time or another, being in someone’s shoes is a great way to learn. You can have your team take a step back and see things from the customer’s point of view. This will be beneficial in creating new insights and innovative ideas. It might even bring about a deep of your customer’s experience with your products and services.
5. Make innovation part of your culture
Creating a culture that values and rewards innovation is crucial for long-term success. It is an investment with guaranteed ROI. How can you create an innovation culture is a complete topic in itself. But, for starters, innovation culture includes fostering a growth mindset, being transparent, and investing in employee development.
6. Invest in an innovation capture tool
Innovation management can seem like a lot of work. But, using the right tool can boost the process significantly. An intuitive, simple, easy-to-use innovation management software will be your best partner in bringing teams together, capturing, managing, and implementing innovative ideas. And how is that possible, is actually not so difficult to comprehend.
Recommended read: How an innovation capture tool can boost your innovation game?