10 Characteristics Of High-Performing Innovation Teams12 min read

Innovation is vital to the success of any organization. Companies that consistently innovate tend to outperform their competitors in the long run.

However, innovation is not a one-time event. It requires continuous effort from a team of experts passionate about creating new products and services.

In this blog post, we will explore the ten characteristics of high-performing innovation teams. These characteristics are based on the experience of successful innovation teams in various industries.

Let’s start.

What are the characteristics of high-performing innovation teams?

High-performing innovation teams have ten notable characteristics:

1. They have an innovation strategy that defines where to focus on and why.

A clear and well-defined innovation strategy is the foundation of all successful and high-performing teams. This strategy should identify areas where the company wants to innovate and why.

Innovation projects with proper goals and strategies help create an innovation team that stays focused on its objectives, ensuring that it does not waste time and resources on any innovation work that does not align with the company’s objectives.

Note, though, that for any innovation project, every effective innovation strategy should align with the company’s overall master plan.

So when you create innovation teams, make sure that they work closely with other business units to ensure that their activities align with the company’s goals.

For an innovation strategy to be effective, it’s important for them to ensure that it can adjust and respond to evolving market conditions and changing customer needs.

2. They have an innovation dashboard with up-to-date KPIs.

An innovation dashboard is a tool that helps every innovation team track its progress. It should include key performance indicators (KPIs) that are relevant to the team’s objectives.

What is an innovation KPI scorecard?

The dashboard should be updated regularly to reflect the team’s progress and provide insights into areas that require improvement.

As innovation leaders, double-check whether the KPIs on the dashboard are specific and measurable. They should provide a clear picture of the team’s performance. And it should be accessible to all members of the innovation team.

3. They measure their performance and optimize as needed.

Measuring performance is crucial to identifying areas that need improvement. High-performing innovation teams regularly review their performance and optimize their processes to improve results.

The team should use data-driven approaches to identify areas that need improvement, which they can follow up on and develop strategies to address.

Moreover, as part of innovation management, the team leader should establish a process for collecting and analyzing data. They should identify the metrics most relevant to their goals and use them to track their progress.

4. Their efforts are aligned with the objectives of the business.

Your innovation process should align with your company’s overall goals. A rhythm in business alignment ensures that the activities of your high-performance teams are integrated into the company’s strategies and are not working in isolation.

Hence, establishing regular meetings with other business units should be a part of your innovation culture. That way, every collaboration can take place harmoniously.

5. They conduct learning and experience-sharing with innovation experts.

Business owners that foster innovation create high-performing teams that undergo continuous learning and experience sharing.

Garnering both the theory and technical skills along the way, they enable innovation work as they learn from each other’s successes and failures.

These regular meetings, workshops, and knowledge-sharing sessions help build a culture of learning and improvement for every team member in the workplace.

This strengthens the company’s talent wheel and provides practical guidance on how they can gain the right talent and needed skills to succeed in every innovation challenge they’d face in the future.

6. They use an innovation toolset.

Innovation teams should use a variety of tools to support their work. Examples of these include canvasses, funnels, and models. They help teams generate and evaluate new ideas.

Specifically, canvasses are visual frameworks that help organize ideas and identify gaps. Funnels help evaluate and filter ideas based on specific criteria, while models help test and refine ideas before implementation.

These tools provide a structured approach to innovation, helping teams to be more efficient and effective in their work.

For instance, the Business Model Canvas helps teams identify key business model components, such as value proposition, customer segments, and revenue streams.

On the other hand, a typical funnel has several stages, each representing a filter through which ideas must pass.

For example, a team may use a funnel to evaluate ideas based on their potential impact, feasibility, and strategic alignment. Only ideas that pass through all the filters are considered for further development.

Furthermore, models can be used to simulate different scenarios and test the feasibility of an idea in a controlled environment. Case in point: a team may use a financial model to project the potential revenue and costs of a new product or service.

Using an innovation toolset helps teams be more effective in their work. It also helps in creating a culture of innovation within the organization. When teams have access to a set of tools that they can use to support their work, it sends a message that innovation is a priority for the organization.

7. They have an innovation software.

An innovation software is an essential tool that helps teams manage their innovation processes. It provides a platform for team members to collaborate, share ideas, and track their progress.

A company’s innovation software must be customizable, user-friendly, and functionally supportive of the team’s workflows.

There are many different innovation software tools in the market today, each with its pros and cons upon usage.

One of the best ones available is Accept Mission, which provides a centralized platform for teams to manage their innovation processes, from ideation to implementation.

One of the key benefits of using innovation software is that it helps teams collaborate more effectively.

When team members can easily share ideas and feedback, it leads to better outcomes and more creative solutions. They also help teams stay organized and on track, reducing the risk of projects getting derailed or delayed.

8. They are trained by innovation experts.

Innovation is a specialized field that requires expertise and skills that may not be available within the organization.

High-performing innovation teams have access to training programs that provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in their roles. Training can be provided by external innovation experts or internal employees who have experience in innovation.

Innovation is a rapidly-evolving field, and teams need to be able to adapt to changes quickly. Subjecting them to these types of training can help them develop new skills and techniques that they can use to improve their work.

9. They establish monthly campaigns to collect ideas on strategic topics.

Regular idea campaigns help keep the innovation pipeline active. It ensures that the team generates new ideas on a regular basis. These campaigns can focus on specific strategic topics or be open to any ideas team members may have.

Monthly innovation campaigns provide a structured and consistent way for team members to create novel solutions on specific topics or themes for each campaign. Then, the team can focus on areas aligning with the company’s objectives.

However, it is not enough to simply collect ideas. High-performing innovation teams should have a well-defined process for evaluating and selecting the best ideas from the campaigns.

This process should be transparent and inclusive, ensuring that all team members have the opportunity to contribute and that the best ideas are chosen based on merit.

In addition, this evaluation process should also consider factors such as feasibility, impact, and alignment with the company’s objectives. It should allow the use of data-driven approaches to evaluate ideas and prioritize those with the highest potential for success.

10. They evaluate innovation activities and adjust as needed.

Most organizations regularly evaluate their innovation activities to identify areas that need improvement.

They adjust their strategies and processes to optimize their results continually.

For them, innovation is a team sport, where everybody helps in dealing with shorter product life cycles, an increasingly changing market, and many other innovation-related problems.

Regular evaluation and adjustment are essential to the success of innovation teams. By regularly assessing their activities, high-performing innovation teams can identify areas that need improvement.

Meaning, his continuous improvement process ensures that the team is always moving forward and progressing toward its goals.

Establish innovation culture

Innovation is critical to the success of any organization. High-performing innovation teams play a significant role in driving growth and competitive advantage.

To achieve success and productivity in innovation, innovation leaders must establish a culture that welcomes creativity, ideation, and experimentation. That way, they can develop the characteristics above.

And, by embodying these attributes, they can continually be productive at generating and implementing ideas that drive growth and competitive advantage for their organizations.

Become a high-performing innovation team. Book a demo of Accept Mission today.

Published On: March 23rd, 2023Categories: Innovation strategy

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