How to Implement Innovation in an Organization

Smiling man talking with a headset at a computer.

So you’ve created an innovation culture and have a way to efficiently manage idea sharing. The next step is implementing the resulting initiatives.

When figuring out how to implement innovation in an organization, look at all employees. Oftentimes, the best ideas come from individuals who are on the frontlines. They work directly with the customers, and really understand what they need.

Employees who feel their contributions matter will take steps toward innovation. They will be more comfortable sharing ideas that will become a reality that leads to powerful results.

The need for innovation is constant. Research shows fast innovators are 42% more likely to be stronger than their slower innovating competitors, and idea sharing is an important part of that process.

Each innovation effort is unique. There are, however, certain strategies you can use when implementing any new idea. Here are some tips to consider.

Look for opportunities

Innovation is about finding a solution to a problem. It can occur as a short or long initiative.

You can find opportunities by asking the right questions. What problems have you encountered in your organization? Which processes need improving, and how can you improve them?

The overall goal of implementing innovation is to make the organization stronger. Growth occurs because of forward movement.

When you land on an idea that seems promising, explore it. Look at it from every angle to see all the possibilities. Some of these already exist, while others can be created.

Prioritize ideas

Your resources and time are limited. Prioritizing ideas helps you decide which to tackle first and which to save for later.

Start with the top two or three ideas you have the resources to implement. Some may take priority because of their nature, while others aren’t as time-sensitive.

Test and refine them to get a better idea of how they will work. This allows you to form hypotheses that lead to proven theories.

One way to test ideas is through targeted experiments. This gives you a real sense of how the outcomes might look.

Ensure the scope of your experiments remains modest, especially when first innovating. For example, create drawings of a new process or product so employees can interact with them. This gives you direct information about what works and what doesn’t.

Conduct several rounds of testing, moving to more complex experiments as you go. Involve more employees each time for diverse and unique results.

Group sitting in a circle discussing information on a document.

Support your innovations

Inform your stakeholders about your innovations. According to a PWC report, 61% of executives embrace open innovation and collaborate with stakeholders to Improve innovation efforts. Include those who will provide financial backing as well as those who will benefit directly from the new product, service, or process.

Learn from innovating

There are always lessons to learn when you implement a new innovation. After each new effort, list what you would do differently the next time.

Keep in mind failures are always opportunities that teach you something. Even successes can be improved upon no matter how well they work.

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