We’ve covered some essential ground to help you prepare your innovation journey, and now it’s time to put these concepts into action. The innovation formula addresses the very specific tasks that have to be accomplished for innovation to emerge from your organization not only as a matter of luck or at random, but through a concentrated effort that results in sustained innovation performance. Here you will find the Taking Action steps along with 25 additional suggestions that we hope will help you to think and plan creatively and productively about how to make innovation a reality in your organization.
The focus of the The Innovation Formula is on the innovation process that makes sense for small businesses, where lean, simple, and fast are essential. You may also be interested in a view of the innovation process that’s suited to larger companies, so this chapter provides an overview of the Innovation Master Plan framework that we use when we’re working with larger organizations on innovation projects and initiatives.
There are four different types of innovation tools that we’ll describe here, including the design of the work place itself, practices that encourage and even enable effective collaboration, open innovation approach to connect inside innovation teams with outside partners and experts, and online tools that constitute the virtual work place. Separately and especially together, these can make a tremendous enhancement in the performance and the satisfaction of individuals, teams, and your entire organization.
In the last chapter excerpt of The Innovation Formula we looked at the role of the business leader, including key strategies to communicate the purpose of innovation as well as taking on the responsibility for the learning of the entire organization as it pertains to innovation. Today, we'll look at the specific abilities required to organize and inspire innovation practices in your company.
As you, the leader/entrepreneur, embark on the pursuit of innovation, there are a handful of your personal skills and talents that will contribute enormously to the success and joyfulness of your journey. These skills are of course not just specific to innovation, and as a successful business person you probably already have well-developed capabilities in many of these areas. Nevertheless, it’s well worth spending a few minutes to review the key abilities where your refined skill set will result in enormous benefits.
The possibility of innovation is born when people transcend the beliefs that limit their thinking, and engage in the search for new and better ways. When people are doing this consistently and throughout your organization, you will see a pattern begin to emerge which you will discover is the dawning of the innovation culture.
In the disciplined and structured process of innovation we search for unmet needs and unfulfilled desires, and when we think we find them we have to construct a sort of a mental map that defines why our proposed solution will be better than whatever currently exists. We may use the business model map to show how we’re using this innovation to move up and to the right, or we may use the customer value ladder to show how this innovation provides differentiated value. And once we’re convinced that our idea is a really good one, the next step is often prototyping.
Since we’re obliged to pursue innovation in a competitive marketplace, speed matters. In fact, it matters a great deal, for your competitors aren’t waiting, and you cannot afford to allow them to get too far ahead. The faster you recognize new trends, threats, and opportunities, the faster great ideas get discovered and created, the faster they get to market, the faster you earn money, build brand, and extend the relevance and reach of your firm into the future.
The process of designing and developing your own innovation portfolios occurs as a series of steps that are described in a sequence because the output of one step will help you to think about the subsequent ones. The process builds towards design conclusions and decisions about the choices you’ll have to make, and then the investments that will back them up. In this chapter excerpt, Langdon Morris walks us through the process.
Probably the single greatest threat to most small businesses is “concentration risk,” also known as “keeping all your eggs in one basket.” In this chapter excerpt of of The Innovation Formula Langdon Morris discusses innovation portfolio design, and how it translates the goals and intents of your aims and strategy into a set of risk-managed innovation projects.
Where do great ideas come from? Obviously they come from many sources, which means that your systematic innovation process has to support and sustain multiple efforts at ideation in parallel. In the following article we will explore some promising ways that you may be able to find ideas that will take your own business forward.
In this chapter excerpt from The Innovation Formula Langdon Morris explains how to use a map to help you locate your company in the market, to see clearly how it compares with the competition, and then to use this assessment to chart a future path toward success. The goal is to find the very best high reward, low-risk ideas that will change the market, amplify your profits, increase your relevance, and sustain your organization’s viability over the long term.
In this chapter of The Innovation Formula Langdon Morris examines five forces of change: technology, science, culture, the human population and climate change. The convergence of these five trends largely defines the modern world and the market environment to which we must adapt and respond. Understanding them will set the framework for the choices you will have to make, and the processes you will implement in order to create and implement your own organization’s innovation process.
In the first chapter of The Innovation Formula for small business leaders and entrepreneurs, Langdon Morris explained the importance of questions and maps that describe competition, change, the future, innovation and strategy that are intended to help you understand the significant forces that are shaping business today, and to harness the ones that are already shaping tomorrow. In the second chapter, we look at a third core element that this book is organized around, which is the innovation formula.
Innovation is as important for small business as for large ones, but most of the books and other writings available focus on the big firms. In his new book The Innovation Formula, Langdon Morris provides insights for the small business leader or entrepreneur about how to be fantastically successful at innovation even with very limited time and capital to invest.