A process for innovating effectively inside your organisation.
Innovation is more than just a good idea, it’s the commercialisation of a good idea and it can help a company stand out or pick up speed again. It sounds simple enough, but in reality there are multiple roadblocks that stand in the way of success.
Process is one of those roadblocks and yours might not be setting you up for success. One simple process your company can embrace is Capture, Connect and Spark.
The capture element is all about collecting great insights. One of the best ways to do this is to act like a customer. Or even a customer of your competition. Encourage your team to get out there into the marketplace and take notes. It’s also worth spending time with people who don’t like your product. Perhaps approach people in your customer service records who had gripes with your product or service. It might feel counterintuitive, but you’ll be surprised by how much you uncover.
It’s exciting to dream big, but don’t forget that we’re limited by resources, time and people. Make sure the insights you collect are relevant for your company. There are two tools you can use for this:
- the cynic clinic - get people into a room and ask them to unleash their inner critic on the insights you’ve collected. This will flush out road barriers and problems ahead of time. The sooner you can unearth these, the better
- the possibility parlour - the opposite of the cynic clinic. This time, the team are there to think up ways to overcome said roadblocks and make your insights work.
It might feel like this should come at the beginning of the process, instead of at the end, but empty creativity is dangerous. Ideas should be based on insight and aimed at opportunity. There are a few tools to kickstart this part of the process. ‘How might we…?’ questions work well, along with posters or stories captioned with engaging copy. Try to avoid Powerpoint presentations or slides as they’re unlikely to capture attention. It’s also worth looking at your competition, how have they solved the problems you also face? Could you apply their solutions to your own business?
These three simple steps - but use them well and you’ll be well on your way to a much more effective process.
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