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The Corporate Innovation Machine

A simple model for implementing an idea management based innovation strategy in your firm

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Download the Corporate Innovation Machine white paper (International A4 format: PDF 412 kb)

Download the Corporate Innovation Machine white paper (North American letter-sized format: PDF 412 kb)


Outline

The corporate innovation machine is a model for understanding how to implement an effective, idea management based innovation strategy in your firm. As with any machine, the corporate innovation machine comprises several components, all of which must work together for the machine to function properly. When the entire machine does work, it builds ideas, evaluates those ideas and implements the best ideas as new product, service and operational improvements which translate into increased revenues for your firm.

Powered by management

The corporate innovation machine is powered by management. Just as the most sophisticated machine will not run without a power source, likewise your corporate innovation strategy will go nowhere without top management taking the lead.

Management's main task is to create within the organisation a culture of innovation which will empower workers to think creatively, collaborate on ideas and contribute their ideas to the company. This is not an easy task, but done well it will make construction of the remainder of the innovation machine a relatively easy job.

Management must...

 

Idea Generator

If management is the power source of the innovation machine, then the idea generator – the tools and techniques for generating ideas – is the motor that drives the innovation process.

Principles

In order to understand how the tools and techniques function, it is important to understand a few key principles...

Tools & techniques

Organisations should have a small “toolbox” of tools and techniques for facilitating innovation. The central tool should be an idea management system capable of soliciting, capturing and evaluating ideas. Properly used, such a tool permits a steady stream of innovative ideas for implementation. Other tools, such as skunkworks, brainstorming, creative spaces and creative meetings further your organisation's innovation potential. Available tools include...

 

Idea quality control: evaluation

The more successful an idea management programme is, the more ideas it will generate. As a result, you need an efficient quality control system. Some organisations have highly structured systems comprising multi-stepped systems for reviewing ideas. While this can be effective, it is also important to retain flexibility in the system. If an idea is clearly a winner, it is often wise to "run with it" immediately, before your competition learns of the idea.

Idea quality control has several components

 

Output: implemented ideas

Once ideas pass all required quality control processes, they are ready to be implemented. Most companies already have effective implementation procedures for new products, services or operations. If you do not, you should run ideas campaigns on improving these procedures.
In addition, it is important to...

 

Maintaining the machine

It is important to monitor the results of your innovation strategy and tweak it over time in order to improve results. A major review after six months and annually thereafter allows you to evaluate the results, determine weak points and improve the functioning of your innovation strategy.

 

Download the Corporate Innovation Machine white paper (International A4 format: PDF 412 kb)

Download the Corporate Innovation Machine white paper (North American letter-sized format: PDF 412 kb)

 

Want to Discuss This With Me?

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Jeffrey Baumgartner
Bwiti bvba

Erps-Kwerps (near Leuven & Brussels) Belgium