How can you set up a system in an organization, that will actually work?

Organizations living in VUCA world are constantly looking over the shoulder. Checking on what the competition is doing. Fast changes require fast reactions and innovation is more than ever a holy grail of every organization (or at least it should be). To be innovative every organization should first have a clear and well-established strategy. Second, an internal and external innovation funneling system is mandatory. Idea boxes or online idea platforms are ineffective unless there is a clear process behind on how exactly do we deal with innovative ideas.

You can probably find yourself in one of the following groups:

a.) You already have an Innovation Funneling System within your organization. The system is not functioning according to expectation. Therefore you would like to transform it.
b.) Since you realize that you haven’t done much in this direction so far, you would like to establish one from the scratch.

Questions worth asking

In order to get closer to your goal – having established Innovation Funneling System, that will work – dig through the following questions. Do you have a:

  • Clear definition on each step of the Innovation Funneling System cycle?
  • Distinguished and well-defined process steps for external and internal innovation funneling?
  • Clarified handling processes for small improvements and disruptive innovation?
  • Re-defined role of an internal board for innovation?
  • Clear positioning the following tools and processes? Creativity boosters, process of ideas collecting, ideation phase, innovation development team formation, design sprint, prototyping, testing, budgeting for quick prototyping and testing, innovation accounting?
  • Functioning Innovation Portfolio framework?

If you find yourself familiar with the concepts mentioned above, you are probably on the right path knowing where and how to reach out. Are the concepts mentioned above new to you? Roll up your sleeves and start establishing (a more effective) Innovation Funneling System framework.

innovation funnel

Some tips & tricks for (re)establishing your Innovation Funneling System framework

  • First of all, make sure that an internal committee does not kill idea suggestions coming into the funnel. Have in mind that the real judge is always the customer. Prototype and test ideas on potential customers using design sprint or similar method. Iterate, build, measure, learn.
  • Second, ideate internally as well as externally. Hackathons, Innovation Days, startup joint ventures, etc. A quantity of ideas will matter.
  • Third, create an Innovation Portfolio which will work for you and help you effectively monitor the status of active innovation projects. Do not forget about tracking progress, budgets and performance, as that will be important to the management board.
  • Also, write your innovation strategy. Many companies do not have one. Plan budgets according to your innovation ambitions. Innovation accounting and innovation processes should be well defined.
  • Furthermore, establish an innovation space in the company and spread creative mindset throughout the company. Start small, be patient (people will not react to change immediately) and go big. 
  • And above all, establish an innovation culture in the company. It will not be easy to build it, nor it will happen overnight. Start by re-building mindsets of people and cultivate innovation spirit. We can achieve a lot starting with proper innovation and creativity booster workshops, ideation events and design sprints.

Interested in more tips or want to share your ideas and experiences with us? Get in touch >