Insights to Inspire Your Approach to Innovation in 2015

Insights to Inspire Your Approach to Innovation in 2015
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Technology zips along while everyone tries to keep up, but the reality is, keeping up is not enough. Companies are devoting more energy and resources to innovation, knowing that it’s no longer enough to want to compete with the likes of Apple – they need to BE the next Apple for true security.

And that’s a tall order. To have a shot at a breakthrough, you need to systematically innovate – leaving that next great idea to chance won’t cut it. So here are eight insights to inspire your innovation efforts in the New Year – and to put you in the right mindset for capturing these great ideas before your competitors do!

1. Risk Management No Longer Stifles Business Innovation – Risk managers and innovators might seem like unlikely bedfellows, but the two make for a winning combination. It’s important to make the distinction between simply changing (i.e. adapting to the marketplace) and true innovation, of course – creating change and driving others to adapt to change smartly is where this duo excels.

2. Five Ways to Boost Innovation Governance for Growth in 2015 – When it comes to innovation governance, “the tentative steps being taken are inconsistent with perceived value.” Companies know that innovation is the way, but they’re getting thrown off track by company politics, spread-too-thin structural distribution, and wait-and-see thinking. Here are 5 ways innovation governance can propel businesses forward in 2015.

3. Rethinking Your Innovation System – “As customer expectations grow and markets evolve more quickly, companies can’t expect to innovate in the ways they used to. Innovation models themselves need to be systematically innovated, rethought, and updated.” By treating innovation as a strategy requiring a system of its own, you limit loss of both time and revenue that might result from a less organized approach. With nuggets like “Fail fast and fail cheap” and “institutionalize IP” this is a must-read.

4. Innovation Comes in 4 Shades of Gray – There’s more to innovation than simply developing new products. Knowing where else to focus your attention, and what kind of results you wish to yield, can make innovation efforts that much more worthwhile. So can trying new approaches. Because as Larry Myler says, “The enemy of improvement is the deeply rooted notion that because ‘we’ve always done it this way,’ we should just continue to do so.”

5. The CIO’s Choice: Adapt or Fail – As varying technologies emerge, shift and change, and innovation becomes a priority, CIOs are being challenged to be flexible enough to adapt to the constant changes coming their way, as well as being able to predict the future and assess how best to prepare for what WILL come.

6. Inventing Products is Less Valuable Than Inventing Ideas – Inventing a new product is great, but what’s even better is running with the idea BEHIND the product and creating an entire field of products, or a new lifestyle for people to embrace. Think of the transition from iPod to iPhone to iPad and you’ve got the idea. Now how do you duplicate it?

7. Most Companies Fail to Invest in Sustainable Innovation – With the average lifespan of a company on the S&P 500 shrinking by more than two-thirds over the last 50 years (and projected to decrease further), “innovation” needs to be more than just a buzzword. Companies need to commit, invest, and have an actual plan for sustaining, or they could find themselves on the extinct list down the road.

8. Crowdsourcing Gains Enterprise Credibility – Lacking innovation resources? Look beyond the typical sources to your followers and prospects to offer insight and ideas. It’s working for Coca-Cola, NASA and others.

Like everything else, innovation success requires focus and planning and routine checks along the way. Keep at it and your chances improve exponentially.

Do you have a system in place for innovation? Let us know what’s working and what isn’t!