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Success factors for high ROI innovation

. PeteW

In a slow economy, the traditional and the mainstream organization retreat from the new and untried. The pendulum swings to efficiency (often at the expense of validity or long term effectiveness).

Innovation can be seen by some, who are under even greater pressure with fewer resources, as taking the focus off of what an organizations does best. For others, however, the slowdown is an opportunity to refocus--not on what's working well now, but what needs to be working well in the future.

Here is a practical, working definition of innovation: a capitalization on new business opportunities through new products, services, processes or experiences. New ideas that cannot be tied to business opportunities may be wonderfully creative, but ultimately inert in terms of capitalization, and so fails this working definition.

Opportunities are situations that afford both a chance to create value for someone or something at a profit in some new or unique way, and a chance to achieve and maintain a position of competitive advantage.

At the end of the day, innovation isn't about more ideas, it's about better ideas.

It's also about people for the simple fact that innovation doesn't happen in a vaccum. It's not enough to discover an opportunity and define a great idea. We need to bring people to those ideas in order to get momentum.

With these ideas in mind, I thought it may be useful to share some thinking and examples in the world for how best to generate value via innovation.

First, there are some common characteristics for organizations which have the highest return on their investment in innovation. You can see examples of them here

  • unofficial activity
  • external collaboration
  • internal connectivity
  • combination innovation (connecting ideas, technologies, and business models to intentionally create innovation)
  • resourcing
  • preconception awareness

You can dive into these concepts here at this short Harvard Business Review article:


Next article--types of innovation.



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