Innovation Management: The Surprising Truth

innovation-truthThis 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 Devin Mcintire, Innovation Technology Adviser at IdeaScale.

Innovation-speak worships at the altar of change, but it rarely asks who benefits, to what end?”  Russell & Vinsel ‘16

As the world of business strategy seems to be facing an exponential growth of jargon, formulas and proprietary methodologies, the term “innovation management” and associated terms “crowdsourcing” and “open innovation” should definitely give you pause. Most of these concepts we encounter in the business world should be taken with a grain of salt (or less), yet some are very much applicable and worth your valuable time and resources.

When it comes to sorting through them, organizations have to decide what approaches are legitimate and capable of producing meaningful results (not just snake-oil) and which approaches are appropriately aligned with the capacity the organization (hopefully, not rocket science).

So the question I wanted to get to the bottom of in my deep dive was: “innovation management:  rocket science or snake-oil?”

First, the easy answer: it’s definitely not snake oil. I am awed by the volume and diversity of success stories. Corporations, governments and social sector organizations have used innovation management to help catalyze new product development, dramatically lower costs of operations, improve workplace safety, increase employee engagement, customer loyalty and so much more.

The question now becomes: “will your organization successfully be able to implement an innovation management program?” But here again I have good news; “innovation management” does not require a new team of consultants and engineers, nor does it require the flashiest, most expensive tools available.

Rather, it’s an impressively intuitive approach to managing the reality that your employees or customers have valuable insight that can be collected, refined and implemented. The challenging nature of innovation management is that your success is highly dependent on your own initiative. In fact, your success with an innovation management program is already 99% in your control. Join me on my next blog for the 3 key insights I discovered that are key to a successful IM program.

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