Innovation is often understood to mean different things. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how innovation is defined in the literature or in other companies. If you want to strategically align and control your innovation management with objectives, you must first define internally what you understand by innovation.

Many business leaders identify innovation as a strategic concern, but struggle in doing so successfully. Too often they try to make this happen by simply declaring themselves to be innovative in their statement of corporate values.

However, it takes a lot more than an executive memo to encourage future thinking. Cultural change is difficult, especially when a key measure of success includes accepting failure.

Without Support of Leadership, Innovation cannot thrive

The first and most important factor in achieving innovative success- or support for innovation capture - is leadership buy-in: management must succeed in translating the corporate vision and mission into a stimulating innovation climate, as well as an innovation strategy and a balanced project portfolio.

Define your Innovation values

An innovation climate, which can ultimately lead to an innovation culture, is fuelled by values and goals. Values here should be understood as the potential financial or strategic benefits a company hopes to derive from innovation and the impact/advantage it can generate with new products, services, or processes in a competitive market. Broadly put, that value could be to survive, stand out as a company or improve the world. Translated into concrete values: optimization, sustainability, better working environment, brand identity, customer experience ...

Set Innovation Goals

Goals are even more concrete. These are measurable, achievable, and relevant targets that a company sets to spur innovation within the organization. 'Develop five new products a year' is an example, or 'achieve a five percent cost reduction', or 'win three innovation awards'. These targets should encourage employees to think creatively, challenge existing processes and procedures, and come up with innovative solutions to problems.

The Explosive Power of Effective Communication

Organizational Support for Innovation (OSI) is one thing, communicating about is evenly important. A company will not succeed in efficient innovation if only the board of directors knows about its ambitions. Once you have defined your innovation goals, you need to develop a clear and concise message that communicates those goals to your stakeholders. Use simple language that is easy to understand and avoid technical jargon that might confuse your audience. Also, tailor your message to your audience: Different stakeholders will have different perspectives on innovation, so you need to tailor your message to each audience. For example, executives may be more interested in the financial impact of innovation, while employees may be more interested in how innovation will impact their day-to-day work.

The necessity of measuring innovation goals requires a disciplined approach that involves defining clear metrics, collecting and analyzing data, making adjustments, and providing feedback. By following these steps, you can ensure that your innovation efforts are aligned with your overall strategy and are driving tangible results.

Here's what our clients typically achieve when working with us and our IBOS-framework:

An answer to:

  1. The question of which type of Innovator are you?
  2. The question of the potential financial or strategic Benefits of innovation?
  3. The question of specific Objectives set to spur and sustain innovation within an organization?
  4. The question of how to Share the innovation ambition internally.
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