If you’re in charge of innovation, it means that you’re constantly being surprised. Not just because technology and trends are emerging that are impacting your business in new and unexpected ways, but almost every project that you’re working on continues to evolve and improve over time.
Innovation isn’t a one-time project. It’s a continuous activity. Which is why we are seeing numerous organizations adding an innovation department to their company infrastructure. In fact, in a recent survey of our client base, we were surprised to learn that almost 40% of our customers operate out of a dedicated innovation group.
When I say “innovator,” what image comes to mind? A brilliant, but misunderstood figure hunched over a drawing board by the light of a single lamp in the middle of the night – cup of coffee dwindling slowly, pages of crumpled notes on the floor?
One of the biggest challenges to innovation is the middle part of the process - where most of the work is happening behind the scenes. As your innovation campaign progresses, you must continue to instill excitement across all team members, and find ways to reengage them as advocates. In this case study, we’ll examine how Dick’s Sporting Goods engaged their employees in product development and effectively encouraged them to participate in their innovation community.
Numerous leaders and community organizers have been talking about public service lately, especially in the US - mostly encouraging the public to take place in ongoing dialogues and to volunteer in their communities in order to create positive change at local and national levels.
At IdeaScale, we define prolific innovators as organizations that have moved more than half of their ideas to the final stage. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every suggested idea became a value-generating, implemented reality. This means that the completed ideas had each been investigated, responded to, and a decision was made to move forward or not. But of course, at least a portion of those completed ideas generate measurable constructive outcomes.
Emulation is a viable technique for driving innovation. However, one has to look outside of their current industry for it to have any real value, often very far away from that industry.