innovation management definition

Exactly how you employ innovation management should be tailored to your organization.

The definition of “innovation management” varies, but the most reliable is written by Henry Chesbrough. Chesbrough, who is known for coining the term “open innovation,” argues that innovation management is not merely supply chain management, but rather a key element in making open innovation a success in the workplace.

Innovation management is responsible for the organization and administration of programs that gather, refine, and deliver on promising new ideas for the purposes of innovation. It can happen in both product and services organizations or in any business or public sector area. Without proper execution, open innovation cannot succeed.

You can envision innovation management as a flow chart. It begins with how the flow of ideas will be arranged. It then progresses into the process of capturing, refining, and selecting the best ideas for implementation. The best innovation management programs have a method for capturing and maintaining a database of ideas that will become the company’s innovation portfolio.

Is there only one innovation management definition?

An interesting component of the innovation management definition is that it continues to evolve. As in any discipline, innovation management is defined by its ability to provide a consistent strategy to achieve its goal. This very strategy is what outlines the innovation management definition for any team or individual that desires to implement open innovation.

That said, the definition itself continues to expand. Innovation management is a business model that will continue to be taught in academia and within organizations, which suggests that it too will be exposed to the wonders of innovation. Academia will learn over time to translate its findings to innovation management in the workplace, and vice versa.

How does your management team contribute to the innovation management definition?

When a management team makes the shift from closed to open innovation, they are tasked with guiding their company through the nuances of this change. This process includes providing support, motivation, and communication about the successes and failures of their developments.

Over time, management teams will contribute to an ongoing dialog about open innovation and provide evidence to support its merits. As innovation management is put to the test, the definition of this discipline will expand and evolve in response. The techniques that get results become more obvious with practice.

Why is it important to clearly define innovation management as it applies to your business?

Innovation management has a place in all industries and sectors, but it works differently in each. Innovation management in the energy industry works differently than it does in journalism or in the automotive industry.

Furthermore, innovation may apply to a specific aspect of your business or industry. For example, you may be looking for ways to solve a sustainability problem, or to get the public interested in a community program associated with your business. How you carry out innovation (and innovation management) can be as unique as your organization. Hence, it must be defined in the context of your organization and what it does.

How can IdeaScale’s innovation starter kit get you started on the path to successful innovation management?

Launching an innovation program can feel overwhelming, and the IdeaScale Innovation Starter Kit offers guidance on the tools and techniques teams need to succeed while avoiding typical innovation obstacles that can hold you back. Within the Innovation Starter Kit, you’ll find:

  • An introduction to what innovation is
  • An innovation project plan template
  • Examples of creative rewards that incentivize innovation
  • Best practices for program engagement
  • Best practices for program moderation and course-correction

If you’re ready to get started with innovation management, you can download the innovation starter kit now. Innovation management can be challenging, but we will teach you how to do it with skill and with outstanding results.