Why Innovation Management?

In order to be able to be successfully innovating, an innovation management team should be established. Like most business processes, innovation management is based on a strategy, in this case the innovation strategy.

However, unlike most other processes, good innovation management is agile and open.

  • Agility in the process is necessary, because innovations are driven by changes. An agile innovation management is therefore a key success factor.
  • Openness: In most cases, innovations are created outside ones company, be it through new competitors, new technologies or changes in society. Thus, good innovation management should involve customers, suppliers, startups, universities and external experts.

Building an Innovation Management Practice in 100 days

The most innovative companies in the world, the Apples, Amazons and 3Ms, did not create their innovation management overnight, but in a process that took many years. The difference to other companies is that these innovation leaders were ready to take the first step.

To make this first step easier for companies, we have developed a simple 100-day plan that allows each company to build its own innovation management within 100 days.

The plan does not require large resources, but it does require attention of from upper management, specifically from a member of top management who will lead the program. This Innovation Champion plays a central role in this phased plan.

  • Innovation gaps: The Innovation Champion identifies innovation gaps between the current growth path of the company and its strategic goals.
  • Innovation areas: Are areas in which the company will search for innovations that should be able to close the identified gaps.
  • Market feedback: The next step is to talk to 10 to 20 customers about any unsatisfied needs. This helps to quickly prioritize and validate the identified innovation areas and innovation gaps.
  • Management Engagement: Top management has to prioritize two to three specific innovation areas in a workshop.
  • Innovation Team Build: Designate a team of at least two people, preferably three to five people, who are to work full-time on innovation.
  • Free-up resources: Management identifies zombie projects, terminates them and releases their resources to the innovation team.
  • Innovation process: The team should create a small & agile innovation process as a basic guideline for their daily work.
  • Innovation Board: In the last phase of this plan, an Innovation Board is staffed with senior management. Its task is to monitor innovation projects but also to protect and promote them within the organization.
  • First projects & learnings: In the meantime, the first innovation projects in the selected innovation areas should have started. The innovation team will make mistakes, but learn from them. Innovation projects are becoming more real and are producing first prototypes, the Innovation Board is seeing first successes, and discussions about expanding and formalizing innovation activities will commence.

This 100-day plan helps companies to overcome the initial hurdles to successful innovation management and to get started.

An important next step is to make innovation management visible and to establish the agility and openness mentioned above.

Achieving Sustained Success with your own Innovation Platform

To be visible as an innovation team, you need to have your own innovation platform. It should be agile, quickly available and open to external stakeholders.

The CrowdWorx technology offers innovation teams of all sizes a home for their innovation activities.

  • With CrowdWorx innovations become faster, more transparent and more successful.
  • The CrowdWorx technology is designed from the ground-up to support agile innovation processes and can be adapted in a few hours to changes in strategy and processes.
  • With CrowdWorx you can integrate employees, suppliers and customers into your innovation management activities.
  • The proprietary Space architecture of the CrowdWorx platform, as well as the built-in intelligent tools and smart assistants support everyone involved in the innovation process – making innovation easier and more exciting every day.

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