An Innovation process is basically a process where an idea is created and selected, after which it is developed before making it ready to be commercially applied. In order to make sure innovation is encouraged and set up the right way, a number of different processes must be used.
When all of these are put together, you will have what is known as an innovation program. Most organizations have multiple programs running at the same time, often even without realizing it. However, the goal is always the same: to come up with new, out of the box ideas that actually work.
The Innovation management process
There is one important thing to understand about the process itself: it has no clearly defined end, or results for that matter. Basically, it is about investing the time you have now, to make tomorrow better. It is impossible to know for sure what will work in the future.
What you can know, however, is which projects are more likely to be successful. This means there is a degree of uncertainty and it is because of this that many businesses avoid them and even get trapped in a process of disambiguation.
So how do you make sure that you approach innovation properly and achieve the best possible results? One of the most successful manners to achieve this is to actually give every member of your team the freedom to have creative ideas.
Perhaps 99% of the ideas that are generated go nowhere. However, by allowing your team members to still have the ideas, you also increase the chance of hitting on that 1% of ideas that will work. Stifling creativity and expecting only perfect and most feasible ideas is a guaranteed failure.
Giving team members freedom is frightening. This is because it also means everybody gets to be involved in the process of decision making. However, research has shown again and again that by giving this freedom, team members become more engaged. As a result, they become more productive and they generate better ideas as well.
Another thing that works is fostering competition. By rewarding those that come up with ideas, and giving additional rewards to those who come up with that 1% of great ideas, you will ensure that more innovation will flow.
Results are not immediate and the process of managing innovation is long and arduous. However, the results you can expect are fantastic as well. It has been shown time and again that this method of working creates fantastic ideas.
Companies that have implemented these methods of working include Google and Facebook, for instance, and everybody knows that they come up with some of the most amazing ideas.
Giving team members freedom to be creative is scary. Management still has a lack of trust in their employees, believing that they will abuse the freedom and simply stop performing. In reality, however, it is by giving them freedom that employees will work harder and become more dedicated to the organization and the work that they do.