Welcome to the final week of the Innovation Academy! So far, you’ve learned how to come up with creative ideas, how to build a highly effective team, and how to refine your top ideas and turn them into robust proposals.
This week, you’ll discover the final stage in an innovation project: assessing and implementing. You need to assess your final ideas, make a decision, and then implement the winning solution.
Assess Your Final Ideas
While it’s great to have tons of innovative ideas, you’ll likely have budget and staff restrictions that require you to narrow your focus and prioritize. As a result, you’ll want to score your ideas based on the following aspects:
- Value Factors. You’ll want to start off by defining the value factors that matter most in your organization. Then, determine which of your new ideas bring the most value for both your company and your customers based on those criteria. You can use a point system to assign value, and rank the ideas based on resulting scores.
- Cost Factors. While it would be great to do absolutely everything, your budget probably doesn’t allow that. So, you’ll need to rank your top ideas based on cost. However, don’t make the mistake of only basing it on the investment required. Be sure to include the return on investment as well.
- Constraint Factors. Finally, you may have other constraints that affect your ability to implement ideas. Some constraints include team member availability, physical location factors, and the need to pilot the idea on a smaller scale before a large rollout. Define all of the constraint factors you face and then rank the ideas accordingly.
Once you assign points in each of these areas, you can total the scores and prioritize the ideas. Then, you’ll know which one or two ideas you can move forward and implement.
Implement Your Ideas
Surprisingly, implementation is the #1 place that organizations fail. Many companies go through an innovation program, collect ideas, and evaluate and rank them. Then they let the ideas sit and collect dust. This demoralizes your employees and makes future innovation projects less credible.
The two biggest pieces of the implementation stage are engaging the creator of the idea and publicizing the wins that come from executing the new idea. The Western Australia Police found that when the idea creator was involved in enacting the idea, it reinforced the integrity of the process and sped adoption across the agency. In addition, publicizing the many wins the system has created drives additional confidence in the improvement process and encourages more front-line members to suggest innovative ideas.
Don’t be one of the many organizations that fall short in implementation. Once you’ve collected great ideas, rated and ranked them, and received approval, be sure to follow through and execute. It’s the only way to realize the benefits of innovation for your company.
Thank you for completing the Innovation Academy! Now it’s time to implement your plan. If you follow the steps and enact these processes in your organization, you’ll see results that move the needle. For additional inspiration, take a look at case studies specific to your industry.