"What are some of the best practices for introducing an innovation strategy into your company?" is a question I receive quite frequently.
Although the precise answer largely depends on the context and situation of your organisation, here are few things to consider:
- Do you need an innovation strategy to begin with. My rule of thumb is: yes, if you have multiple business units; maybe, if you are an SME.
- To me, "introducing" encompasses both formulation and execution. These two usually have an artificial barrier between them, where formulation is done by "the top," and execution is delegated to operations. Don't do that.
- In order to formulate an actionable innovation strategy, you need to understand your internal situation, external environment, boundaries, and how you envision success. (Read here for specific questions to ask.)
- Useful strategy is comprehensible. You aren't writing War and Peace, keep it short and to the point. (Here is a three page format you can use.)
- Execution depends on involving the right people at the right time. That includes people with power, authority, resources, talent, and ideas. Minimize handovers within and between organisations. Even better, eliminate them whenever possible.
- Your innovation strategy is a highly educated guess. It's not carved in stone. Revisit it regularly, and update it based on market developments.
- Assemble the smallest part of organisation needed to get started. A vertical slice of your organisation should work well for implementing your innovation strategy. (More on that here, here, and here.)
And here is the ultimate best practice—just get started and learn as you go. Practice is the best teacher.
P.S. In addition to the above, I also invite you to study the seven innovation strategy caveats.
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