Remarkable companies have made innovation look easy by successfully building customer-centric products while avoiding high costs and long innovation cycles. As customer expectations and needs continue to evolve, the ability of a company to innovate is necessary to survive. Yet, when it comes to corporate innovation, it can be hard to know where to start or understand how your organization is doing. An Innovation Assessment is an excellent tool to use as the first step in understanding how to make innovation a priority within your company. No matter the stage of your organization, the ability to innovate successfully is not about developing skills but is about developing useful capabilities. For your company to look ahead, you need to start by looking inwards. Here are three reasons why your company needs to do an Innovation Assessment.
Identify Your Barriers
No matter the stage of your organization, innovation can be challenging, and barriers can look different for everyone. For a young company such as a startup, they may have a lot of disruptive ideas but not enough resources to execute them. On the other hand, an incumbent may have the resources but lacks the willingness to fail and be creative. Facing different problems, startups and incumbents have begun to borrow from each other’s playbooks. Startups, for instance, will spend time gaining resources through venture capital, while incumbents focus on launching internal startups such as RBC ventures. In a study that we conducted, for example, we found that one of the biggest challenges was a lack of alignment between senior management and innovation teams about the company’s innovation strategy. An Innovation Assessment can help uncover this type of issue and is the best starting point for reimagining your company’s future. An honest third-person perspective on your company’s innovation capabilities can help to identify areas of improvement and opportunities for overcoming barriers.
Identify whether you have a culture for innovation
Innovation is a team sport that requires an environment that supports creative thinking, risk-taking, and failure. Creating and maintaining a culture of innovation is essential for organizations when building better products and services for their customers. For some companies, the sign of a culture unwilling to change is, unfortunately, a decline in growth and revenue. An Innovation Assessment can help to inform organizations of whether or not they have a culture of innovation before a company’s bottom line begins to suffer. A healthy culture of innovation promotes a mutually reinforced belief about the importance of innovation, which allows organizations to avoid long innovation cycles and failed projects. It also helps to infuse teams with resilience, the willingness to try disruptive ideas and fail, and be able to move on to the next concept on your team’s list. Organizations that embrace innovation refuse to get discouraged quickly and embrace results, customer feedback, and welcome failure. By getting a diagnosis of where your company’s culture is now, you can understand what is preventing you from achieving your desired innovation results.
Ability to assess if you have the resources to innovate
Having the right resources is essential for successful innovation. There is no doubt that innovation cannot happen without dedicated funds that allow organizations to bring their ideas to life. Yet the key to building disruptive products and services requires more than concepts, money, and processes. The best way for a company to understand what resources they have and what resources they still need is to assess whether or not the organization is reaching their innovation goals. By completing an innovation assessment, an organization can receive a complete view of their resources and what they need to innovate successfully. Time and energy, for instance, are two resources required for innovation. It takes time and energy to come up with a disruptive idea, test with customers, fail, and launch a new product or service to market. Ensuring that innovation is a priority by having the right resources, can help your organization avoid a long innovation cycle and increased costs.
To learn more about how we help innovators succeed, check out our podcast The Disrupticons where we share stories with innovators and why it matters.