As part of our innovation strategist team, I get to speak with a lot of first-time innovators. Developing an innovation program for any organization is no easy task and certainly should not fall on any one person. Part of my role is to help those who want guidance on where to begin and put them on the road to success. But how do I know if someone is going to succeed with their innovation program?
Here are the three things I look for:
- Clear goals and tangible outcomes: start at the end. The most successful innovation plans begin with a clear end goal – this is your light at the end of the tunnel. Having a clearly defined outcome will help you clearly define milestones that you’ll need hit in your journey towards your outcome. As they say, “if you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up somewhere else.”
- Measurable Milestones: Here’s the bottom line: if what you’re measuring doesn’t bring you towards your end goal – if it doesn’t move you towards your desired outcome above, then it doesn’t matter. Put all your KPI’s to this test. Don’t waste your time tracking KPI’s just because you can. Track what matters.
- Transparent Communication: In a recent Gartner report, crowdsourcing is the most impactful digital innovation technique. It’s also the least used according to the report. You may have heard our founder, Rob Hoehn, say, “The crowd is your most powerful ally…” So make sure everyone is heard. Communicate with them. Communicate your desired outcomes. Communicate your progress towards reaching your milestones. A conversation is a two way street: if you want your crowd to communicate with you, make sure you communicate with them. I promise they’ll love hearing from you!
IdeaScale’s innovation management software has tools to help you organize your innovation program, track milestones, and communicate with your crowd. What outcome are you looking for in 2017? Let us know! We’d love to help you find a better way to get there.
This blog post is part of a series authored by IdeaScale employees. It showcases how they’re thinking about crowdsourcing and innovation as part of their daily routine. Feel free to ask questions or make comments.
This post is by Jeff Wong, Customer Success Operative at IdeaScale.