Why is it difficult to install a process for innovation?
In order to innovate successfully, an innovation process must first be installed.
But what exactly does an innovation process look like? The process is dependent on the size of the company, for example. But in principle, the process is always the same, whether Open or Closed Innovation:
Identification of the need, idea generation, idea evaluation and implementation.
First the need must be recognised, that is, the need for change. The corporate culture is an important factor here. Because if the employees are always striving for something new and are motivated, the process can be initiated more easily than if the corporate culture first has to be adapted with regard to the willingness to innovate. In addition to the employees, the company management is responsible for taking a clear position on innovation management. At this point, the process must therefore be adapted to the respective corporate culture, as well as the structures, employees and customers.
However, an analysis of the current situation is always part of the process. Even in the first phase there are some obstacles on which innovations fail. These are usually only small things, such as the predominance of day-to-day business, a lack of understanding of innovation on the part of management, poor communication, unclear responsibilities, employees are not involved or there is simply a lack of resources. If these obstacles are not removed in the first phase, the success of the innovation is not promising.
The process must not be planned too closely and in detail, because the innovation process in particular is an unpredictable one. A certain openness and agility must be given.
Once the process has been initiated, it enters the phase of idea generation. The creativity of the employees must be encouraged, e.g. by using various creativity techniques.
However, not only internal sources of ideas should be tapped, but also external ones. This external knowledge from customers, partners or competitors should be identified and applied. A common mistake is to omit customer and market needs. However, it is precisely the input from outside that is decisive for innovations.
The ideas generated must then be evaluated. This includes setting up and applying evaluation criteria and assessing the benefits and costs of the ideas. If no system has been established in advance and there is a lack of organisational management, this phase becomes a critical one. This is where the decision for the future is made. And even if the process has been successful so far, the motivation must of course be maintained.
Once you have found a promising idea and you have jumped over all the obstacles, then it is time to plan its implementation. Here too, the innovation process can be reopened and external know-how can be brought in. You can also look for support and financing outside the company. So that everyone can benefit from the innovation, it has to be marketed in the end. The motivation of employees, customers and partners must be maintained not only with regard to marketing, but also with regard to future innovations.