The 10 Commandments of Repeatable Business Innovation

Filed Under Innovation

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Arwen Heredia

November 15, 2013

As businesses hop aboard the repeatable innovation train, it’s imperative that leaders get a few things straight from the get-go. If you’re going to do innovation right at your company, you’ll need to do more than just implement a few changes. You’ll need to acknowledge the possibility that your efforts aren’t panning out because you’ve been going about innovation all wrong, all along. And that’s just the first step.

To help you work towards implementing a functioning innovation system, here are the 10 Commandments of Repeatable Business Innovation.

1. Thou Shalt Not Resist Change

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? But the all-too-common tactic for many companies is to wait around for great ideas to magically appear, then hope that you are lucky enough/ have enough money/ are not innovating while Saturn is in retrograde, so you’ll have the chance to turn them into something more. That’s ‘broke’, so it’s time to take a different approach.

2. Thou Shalt Not Ignore the Data

Innovation is a science, people. Pay attention to patterns so you can better predict how well current and future innovations will fare, or to help you identify the innovators in your company.

3. Thou Shalt Not Be Afraid to Take (Calculated) Risks

If you’re not upsetting the status quo, you’re not innovating. Period. But don’t disrupt just for the sake of disrupting; understand your market, see Commandment #2, and build a strategy that allows for both reward and resiliency.

4. Thou Shalt Leverage the Power of the Crowd

Using crowdsourcing is a spectacular way to push innovation efforts in the right direction, but it must be done with structure. Make sure you’re checking in with your crowd, using voting mechanisms, and posing thought-provoking questions and challenges — i.e., not things like “Do you like this idea?”

5. Thou Shalt Be Okay with Failure

Failure sucks. It also helps us to learn, grow, and do better than we’ve done before. Avoiding it is not only futile, it’s boring, and it cuts us off from our own potential. Let it happen; just don’t do it the sa

6. Thou Shalt Not Consider Appropriation to be Innovation

Stealing someone else’s idea is not innovation. However, finding unexplored perspectives, or using an existing concept as inspiration for making something better, is.

7. Thou Shalt Take a Holistic Approach

Without a holistic approach leveraged across different areas of a business, opportunities are lost. Consider your innovation management program to be the foundation of your overall market strategy; as the system effects every aspect of your company, so should it be influenced by every corner of your organization. Don’t just come up with great ideas — scope them, shape them, and use process to make them a reality.

8. Thy Goal Shalt Be Execution, Not Ideation

From a recent post by Harvey J. Wade: “Success is only achieved when an arrow is fired and it hits the intended target. It’s the same with ideas. If you have lots of ideas that are being discussed, but no one knows what the target is, then you’re unlikely to be innovating successfully.” In other words, don’t base outcomes on ideas — base them on what you intend to do with those ideas.

9. Thou Shalt Trust the Experts

You wouldn’t fill your own cavities. Just sayin’.

10. Thou Shalt Do it Again (and Again)

Need we say more?