Jun 21, 2016
Tips To Master Innovation Management Policy & Practice
What is innovation management? What does a good innovation management policy look like? How can you begin to put innovation management into practice?
The intention of this post is to cover innovation management policy & practice in detail.
Innovation management is the management of innovation processes such as idea generation and organizational cooperation. Innovation management is a necessary part of any business but most businesses overlook it.
Today many businesses need the right tools on their side in order to innovate effectively. Your business needs tools that allow your managers and employees to share and communicate ideas fast.
Here is a quick example of how a company might use innovation management. We will assume that you want to build an iPhone app for your company.
With innovation, you cannot afford to rely on one set group for ideas. It is more effective to collect ideas from your entire management team and employees.
Therefore you will need to collect ideas from everyone in your company.
You may already be able to see how innovation management can improve your company’s performance.
So why are so many corporations lacking innovation management?
Part of the reason may be because when most people think of innovation, they think of R&D (research and development). We may also think of technology and product. Many companies do not think about management innovation.
Why Innovation Management Policy & Practice Matters
Innovation management is the success factor behind companies like Forbes, Microsoft, and Visa. These companies have a proven process for continuous management innovation.
R&D, technology, and product innovation will create good advantages for your company.
However, management innovation can create large industry shifts and long-lasting advantages for organizations. It can position your company as a leader in the marketplace.
Can your employees be more than cogs in a machine? You can tap into the minds of your employees and gather ideas from them. Your employees can help you to implement change faster.
Your employees can also be the ultimate problem solvers. You will be able to get more out of your people than most of your competitors. This is why it is important that you have a good innovation management policy and practice in place.
Your Innovation Management Policy
In your organization, the only way that you can change how your manager’s work is to reinvent the wheel. You must change the processes that govern the work. Management processes are the building blocks of everyday practices for managers.
Here is a list of some common management processes:
- Project management
- Capital budgeting
- Strategic planning
- Executive development
- Internal communications
- Employee assessment
- Knowledge management
These are the rituals that your teams follow on a daily basis. Innovation management deals with these areas. It is important that every company establishes a good innovation management policy.
You need to add innovation management into these processes to make it a part of your organization’s culture. Like a supply chain system, innovation requires the involvement of everyone in your company. Everybody in your company must work together in a system that keeps them connected and on the same page.
Your policy will define how you innovate. Many companies will host a senior management meeting for ideas when they are designing a new product. This approach is often wrong. The best way to innovate is to include your entire organization in the process.
Holding a meeting with senior management may be nice but it will limit your innovation efforts. However if you collected ideas from everyone in your organization, you will improve your chances of success
There are four development processes that innovation management addresses and they are:
You must have a system in place that can connect every department in your organization. Your system must be able to organize all of the work into those four areas.
Innovation Management Practice
Companies may find it hard to put innovation management into practice. This is especially true for large organizations. To make the integration easy, you need to make innovation management a central topic in your leadership development and training programs.
This will help everyone in your organization feel more comfortable with the idea of contribution and change. You will spark thousands of minds to generate ideas for you. Can you start a mandatory training program that your managers and employees can take? Most likely yes.
“Changes call for innovation, and innovation leads to progress” – Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.
Here is another example of how you can start putting innovation management into practice.
The main reason why most products fail is because they do not meet customer’s needs. It is impossible to meet everyone’s needs, but you need to meet the needs of your target customer
Remember that each department of your business can bring their expertise into the idea generation process.
Let us assume that you have four departments in your organization and these departments are sales, customer service, engineering, and manufacturing.
- Your sales people understand the sales process.
- Your customer service department understands the service side.
- Your engineers understand product functionality.
- Manufacturing knows a lot about shipping your product.
You can merge what makes these departments great into one unique package. This process makes it more likely that you will create a product that meets your customer’s needs.
So how do you connect all your employees and management teams together? The most effective way is to use a tool or web application that can bring your teams together.
Using a tool that is designed for idea management is better because they come with added functionalities that make them easier to use. Applications will usually slow down the idea generation process.
How is your organization currently using innovation management?
Is there potential to improve the process? What can be done better within your organization to have good policy and practice. Please let us know in the comments.