Organizations that strive to innovate despite the ups and down of economic cycles are the ones that will most likely grow and survive. However, granting how these businesses spend their time, money, and effort on innovation, how can they secure a high success rate?
In this article, we will brush over five common methods of improving innovation success rates. We will also go over five other methods that are less talked about but still yield the same essential benefit.
What is innovation success?
Innovation success comes in three different forms:
1. Ideas collected
Innovation begins with an idea. No innovation process can ever occur in its absence, which means that no one can generate any type of business value for either the organization or its customers.
However, innovation is a numbers game. You will need at least 300 ideas to effectively claim that you’ve gathered enough concepts for the selection process.
Otherwise, when you settle for less, you will not only be limiting your organization’s initial outcomes. It would also be more difficult for you if you’re confronted with poor-quality ideas that you know won’t make the cut.
2. Projects executed
When resources are tight, it can be difficult for business executives to balance out the organization’s needs.
Considering how every department has its own set of plans, initiatives, and programs to pursue, determining which ones are worth supporting (at least from a financial aspect) is no easy task. It’s a time-consuming procedure that requires objective analysis and decision-making.
So, as a business owner or an innovation manager, you can determine whether you’ve successfully innovated in terms of executed projects if they complement the company’s goals while boosting ROI.
3. Value created
Every company’s objective is to challenge the industry. Any company that is dependent on supply and demand will unlikely achieve a profit that is greater than its capital expenditure.
Consequently, your innovation initiatives should be able to address a clearly defined concern with a response that successfully produces, provides, and captures value.
Other organizations may be providing market-ready solutions. So, you should examine the problem from every viewpoint conceivable and look for value where others haven’t.
Putting price and cost aside, value can be achieved in lots of different ways, which can profoundly alter the way an organization functions both within and out. It can also take the form of making things easy for customers or speeding up company processes.
Why does innovation fail?
Here are four common reasons why innovation fails:
1. Lack of innovation strategy
A company’s lack of an innovation strategy may spiral the innovation process down. For instance, the following scenarios can occur:
- Innovation efforts are not aligned with the company’s overall business strategy.
- Companies cannot effectively create trade-off judgments.
- Various components of a company might quickly end up following contradictory agendas.
- Most attempts aimed at increasing a company’s ability to innovate will fail due to the process’s lack of direction.
- None or very little business value will be created.
- There will be ineffective resource allocation.
- The structure of the innovation process won’t be established concretely.
This suggests that the lack of innovation strategy is at the root of a problematic innovation process.
2. Sluggish innovation workflow
A sluggish innovation workflow has a detrimental impact on project performance, quality, and effectiveness. While the opposite can positively impact success and performance.
- Organizations with simple workflows are less complicated and hence more nimble. Since they lack sluggish hierarchies and bureaucracy, they can move more swiftly, resulting in overall productivity and efficiency.
- Employees are well interconnected and linked, which enhances collaboration and cooperation while also speeding up procedures and tasks.
- The work environment promotes enhanced communication, tolerance for risk, and preparedness for any change.
In other words, a sluggish innovation workflow can cause employees to be extremely slow, less productive, and less likely to cooperate.
3. Lack of dedication, support, and commitment
The organization’s lack of support, dedication, and commitment to innovation make it a low priority in comparison to other daily business activities. Such circumstances cause innovation to remain at the lowest ends of the company’s list of its most significant agendas.
- The management’s insufficient commitment to innovation will be felt in all areas of the organization. Considering how everyone remains preoccupied with the day-to-day operations of the business, innovation is labeled as a low priority.
- Ergo, once the process gets introduced, it will be perceived as something new. This means it would take time for people to adjust to the changes that it brings.
- In addition, when employees are only rewarded for meeting year and sales quotas, that means there isn’t much potential for innovation in the company. So when they are given innovation tasks, they think of it as an additional responsibility.
4. Lack of business owner
Business owners are major contributors to innovation success. They have the most influence on their companies’ operations, so when a business owner fails to foster an innovative culture in the workplace:
- The company usually has little to no regard for any innovation activities. Employees are unconcerned about the outcome.
- They don’t feel empowered, so they do not pour their passion and creativity into doing it.
As a result, business owners should develop internal ownership to guarantee that innovation is performed with the greatest amount of enthusiasm and attention to detail possible. Employees feel more engaged with their job when organizations build a culture of ownership.
So solutions are developed with higher quality and speed.
What are ten effective ways of improving innovation success rates?
Now that you’ve defined what innovation success is and why innovation fails, it’s time to go over the ten most effective ways of improving innovation success rates.
Most business experts name these common methods of improving innovation success rates as:
However, there are actually five more methods that are less talked about. These are:
1. Validating an idea before investing in it
Concept validation is the act of accumulating evidence around ideas through experimentation. Validating ideas is necessary to establish quick, educated, and business decisions with minimal risks.
The goal of this process is to test the viability of an idea in the actual world before building and releasing it for mass usage or consumption. It ensures that the concept has genuine market demand and commercial value.
You can conduct idea validation by:
- Define your end-users and reach out to them. Find out their current experiences with the problem you chose to solve, including their needs and pains. Discover how you can go the extra mile to help them out.
- Think of the right features and functionalities that you’d like to integrate with your concept to come up with a unique value proposition
- Form and test your assumptions. Remember, high-risk assumptions and those about which you have limited expertise should take precedence.
- Organize your research plans to determine how you can effectively investigate your hypothesis
- Conduct the study
- Based on your findings, create a minimum viable product (MVP)
- Prepare your MVP for testing
- Collect initial user feedback
- Analyze the data
- Conduct competitor analysis
2. Looking out for possible changes in the industry
Successful entrepreneurs discover methods to remain ahead of the competition. To improve innovation success rates, you must stay educated in order to spot and capitalize on new and unique possibilities.
You can be on the constant lookout for possible changes in your industry by:
- Going through trending and relevant topics every day
- Encouraging your employees to share any noteworthy discoveries or publications relevant to your niche
- Researching keywords in your industry to identify emerging patterns in people’s searching behavior
- Conducting observations within your network. What’s keeping people busy?
- Considering your industry from the standpoint of your target market
- Observing your competitors and finding out what they’re up to
3. Aligning business goals with innovation strategies
When company plans and innovation objectives are not in sync:
- Your business will embark on an innovation journey without distinct objectives, thereby yielding unclear outcomes.
- Innovation results won’t match the company’s vision and broader goals.
- No clear milestones will be established. But there will be several paths to an undefined set of outcomes.
- Your purpose for innovating is unclear.
- You won’t be able to effectively identify what problems to solve, so you can’t come up with any viable solutions.
- Areas in your company have different goals to work on, making collaboration almost impossible.
To boost innovation success rates, reach out to your employees. Discuss the company’s innovation needs. And determine what tasks and responsibilities each person plays in carrying out your innovation initiatives.
4. Establishing a solid innovation framework
An innovation framework establishes characteristics, methods, and behaviors that promote innovation within a business. Considering that innovation is a multifaceted, cross-functional undertaking, the framework applies to the entire enterprise.
It creates a fundamental foundation for innovation in accordance with company strategies and eventually produces higher innovation success rates and measurable business results.
Create a solid innovation framework by:
- Developing a strategy for innovation
- Evaluating and selecting desired innovation type
- Understanding the tools, methods, and processes related to innovation for efficient use
- Creating procedures and systems based on the data gathered in the preceding phases
- Building the ability to deliver innovation successfully
5. Digitizing related processes
While innovation has long been a component of growth, digitization is altering the fundamental essence of the creative process. It offers unprecedented chances for businesses to generate revenue, success, and development.
In a sense, digitalization is influencing innovation in four ways:
- Improved access to consumer data, allowing organizations to compete more effectively by designing products based on what their customers genuinely want and are willing to pay for.
- New monetization and subscription-based models are gaining traction.
- During the product development process, technical professionals, software engineers, marketing experts, and other relevant parties can collaborate and provide multidisciplinary input.
- Businesses create faster and more efficient procedures for increased productivity.
Enhance your innovation process
Improving innovation success rates has a lot to do with leadership. The things listed above can never take place without the approval, direction, and input of either the innovation manager or the business owner.
In the end, it is up to them to shape the organization’s attitude and mindset towards the value of innovation activities. It may be challenging at the beginning, but all the efforts directed at promoting this process will all be worth it in the end.
Learn how to enhance your organization’s innovation performance by downloading our innovation ebook here.