How do you support innovation in your organisation?
Econsultancy published in an article the result of a study on how an innovative company has prepared themselves for success through innovation. You find the article here. The background to that article was a prior published article on the same topic. I find the extracts from the study very interesting. Some of the comments are worthy praise and some not, in my humble opinion.
It is very clear from the two articles that innovation is something very few study carefully and thoroughly. The answers delivered by the respondents are all very subjective and leans very little to what is accepted nomenclature within innovation research. Most of the respondents think that innovation is something vague, something you can’t really nurture in a structured manner and most often something new, never tested before.
My opinion is quite an opposing one. It is pretty clear what defines an innovation, it can be stimulated structurally in your organization and success may be measured. But you have to study the topic carefully to be able to really support innovation in your company. Setting up an email address to which the public or employees may send good ideas and claiming this to be supportive to the organization to be innovative is not enough. That is only the emperor’s new clothes or painting lipstick on a pig. Old stories that don’t work as intended.
One thing mentioned in the second article is that you need to get the organization to understand what is the definition of innovation. Most people seem to confuse or mix invention and innovation. D. Croslin said in 2010 that you need to add transformative value to an idea to turn it into an innovation. You get a patent for an invention, but never for an innovation.
What is your take on how to make an organization innovative? How would you structure innovation and what metric system would you use to see that you may call your organization successful?