A lot of businesses see innovation as something quite scary, because it is a dive into the unknown. As a result, things get over-complicated. One of the reasons for this is that there are so many enterprise innovation management software services out there, all of them so good, that it can become a bit overwhelming to pick one. While all of them are very good, they do all take different approaches. Hence, if you were to study two of them, or read two books on innovation, or listen to two innovation speakers, you will get conflicting information.
However, all agree that there are five key principles to making innovation successful. It doesn’t matter whether you are a huge Fortune 500 multinational conglomeration, or whether you are a mom and pop startup store on a high street in a rural village. Everyone should innovate, and everyone can do that by following these five tips.
The 5 Key Principles of Innovation
The first principle is that you must get out into the real world. Stop sitting in a closed room, around a desk, pouring over an idea with the intent of perfecting it. Take the idea, in its rawest form, outside into the area where it will eventually be applied, and test it out. That is how you can learn the most.
The second principle is that you must find a way to learn faster than what anyone else does. Sure, being the first mover is great, but being a sustainable mover is even greater. Invest as many resources as possible into getting to know your customer, and continue to allocate these resources, even if the idea is already implemented.
The third principle is that you have to be lean with your experiments. Do not blow your entire budget on an idea only to find it doesn’t work. Best practice across all organizations is to be lean by properly utilizing the other resources (time and people!) that you have available to you. Doing that is innovative in its own right.
The fourth principle is that you should not create things people don’t want to have. If you develop an idea, you will probably love it. That is the id, ego, and superego in all of us that Sigmund Freud developed. The problem is that, as much as you may love your idea, other people may not. What you need to learn to love is the opinion of your customers.
The fifth and final principle links to that clearly: innovation is about solving the problems your customers have. They will come to you because you give them something they want that nobody else offers. There is no point creating something that they are not looking for in the first place.
These are your five principles and you must stick to them. So much so, in fact, that you should print them out and hand them to everybody in your organization. Reference to them every step of the way, and see how much of a difference they will make.