Innovation is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a complex and dynamic process that requires a clear vision, a strong culture, a skilled workforce, a supportive environment, and a robust system. Innovation is also a journey that involves different stages of maturity, from initiation to optimization. Each stage has its own characteristics, challenges, and opportunities.
Therefore, before you decide to put together an innovation strategy for your organization, you need to assess your innovation maturity first. This will help you understand where you are in your innovation journey, what are your strengths and weaknesses, and what are your gaps and needs. This will also help you tailor your innovation strategy to your specific context, goals, and capabilities.
How do you assess your innovation maturity? There are different models and frameworks that you can use, but one of the most comprehensive and practical ones is the Innovation Maturity Model (IMM). The IMM is a tool that helps you measure and improve your innovation performance across six dimensions: leadership, culture, personnel, technology, processes, and performance management. Each dimension has four levels of maturity: basic, developing, established, and advanced.
The IMM helps you answer the following questions:
- Leadership: How committed and supportive are your leaders to innovation? How do they communicate and demonstrate that innovation is embedded in your organization’s vision, mission, and values? How do they empower and enable the innovation teams and champions?
- Culture: How conducive and collaborative is your organizational culture to innovation? How do you foster a culture of curiosity, creativity, and experimentation? How do you celebrate successes and learn from failures?
- Personnel: How competent, diverse, and disruptive to the status quo are your personnel? How do you recruit, retain, and develop your innovation talent? How do you reward and recognize your innovation contributors and achievers?
- Technology & Tools: How advanced and accessible are your business platforms? How do you leverage the latest technologies to support your innovation activities and outcomes? How do you ensure the security and reliability of your technologies?
- Processes: How efficient and effective are your processes? How do you leverage innovation to close process gaps? How do you ensure the quality and consistency of your processes? How do you manage the innovation lifecycle from idea generation to implementation and evaluation?
- Performance management: How aligned and accountable are your performance indicators and targets? How do you monitor and measure your inputs, outputs, and impacts? How do you report and communicate your results and achievements? How innovative is your organization in closing performance gaps?
By assessing your innovation maturity across these six dimensions, you will be able to identify your innovation strengths and weaknesses, as well as your innovation gaps and needs. Based on your findings, you will be able to develop a more robust and effective innovation strategy that is aligned with your organization’s vision, mission, and values, as well as your organizational context, goals, and capabilities. You will also be able to prioritize your innovation actions and initiatives, allocate your innovation resources and investments, and define your innovation roles and responsibilities.
In summary, assessing your innovation maturity is a critical step before developing your innovation strategy. It will help you understand where you are in the innovation journey, what are your strengths and weaknesses, and what are your gaps and needs. It will also help you tailor your innovation strategy to your specific context, goals, and capabilities.
Thank you for reading and happy innovating!