One of the biggest barriers to Innovation Management is that it’s unclear WHO makes the decisions.
Innovation projects have traditionally been the responsibility of a specific, internal company function and subject to top management approval. Often, this is no longer the recipe for success.
Today, innovation is much more complex:
Innovation = INTEGRATION of new TECHNOLOGIES
That does NOT mean Innovation is an IT project or the responsibility of the IT department or an external IT consultant. That kind of digitalization projects typically focus on eliminating paper and improving efficiency of existing processes – supporting today’s business models.
Real Innovation Management starts with changing customer needs and how we deliver value in different ways, taking full advantage of the new technologies.
Innovation = INTEGRATION with CUSTOMER PROCESSES
Many companies have become successful by first listening to customer needs and then going back to tailor-make a product or a service.
Customers still want personalization and flexibility, but they increasingly pretend it in real-time, with a click, without having to explain their changing needs in person or wait for the personalized product to be built.
Innovation = INTEGRATION with COMPLEMENTARY PRODUCTS
Making the transition to real-time personalization requires much deeper insight into what is important for the customer and how their overall processes work.
Companies that share data and integrate with the customer’s other suppliers to deliver additional value have a much better chance of continuously synchronizing their offer compared to companies that focus just on innovating their own products or services.
Innovation = INTEGRATION of SYSTEMS and COMPETENCES
Innovation is becoming more complex as technology is making it possibile to rethink and transform entire systems, value chains and industries. This means that many, different competences must become part of the innovation process:
- Integration of different company functions
- Integration of different company systems
- Integration of different businesses.
So, WHOSE JOB IS IT? WHO DECIDES ON INNOVATION?
Innovation = BIG changes in SMALL steps
Innovation projects are no longer big, costly projects developed to make decisions that impact the next decade. Innovation is about experimenting and analyzing results every single day…
…without having all the elements to make long-term decisions, but measuring the impact of actions in order to discover where value is being created.
…without building all the relevant competences in-house, but collaborating with as many, diverse partners as possibile.
Therefore, Innovation is Everybody’s responsibility, but it is important to define visible projects with clear roles and responsibilities. Otherwise, there is a risk that we think Somebody else is doing it when Nobody really is.
I look forward to innovating together!