A Better Innovation Approach

I told you before, we love innovation.

We love seeing people changing their worlds, overcoming years of frustration. And who wouldn’t? Sadly, it’s not often like this. Innovation has its pitfalls; it doesn’t always work.

Innovation needs to be better.

So, what’s our Better Innovation approach at Innovate21?

It starts with 1) our diagnostic to discover your truth, then 2) determining what areas to focus on and finally 3) applying our suite of services that enable innovation impact.

Our unique Better Innovation framework was created by Ian Pallister and Harvey Wade, based entirely on the “better innovation” practices we’ve experienced. These better practices delivered the impact needed.

The Better Innovation framework is best thought of as a continuous journey with three stages:

  1. Strategy — embed innovation into the future strategy
  2. Operational — enable the organisation to innovate
  3. Manage — build the culture and measure the impact
Better Innovation Framework — Ian Pallister & Harvey Wade

“Let’s just do something!”
Starting with Strategy, in our experience, there’s a keenness to get on with innovation. Normally coming from a mixture of panic and impatience from leadership.

If your world is changing around you, that’s understandable. However, jumping into activity without being clear on why and where you are going leads to future issues and failure. Understanding why innovation is needed, what it means, what must be achieved and what it will take, i.e., funding, provides a solid foundation that can be built upon.

Wheels in motion, but lay the track first.
The next stage is Operational. This is where the innovation strategy is executed and activity begins. Strategy is translated for each business area so they understand their role in innovation. This stage creates the roadmap and shapes the innovation lifecycles for the innovation portfolios. Innovation doesn’t just happen, processes and tools must be built and shared, including the support for innovators. There can be many streams of activity, but all must align to the overriding innovation strategy.

People and Progress
The final stage is Manage. Although you start with Strategy, the Manage stage is not an afterthought. How will you know if progress is being made? There’s a danger in confusing innovation activity with innovation progress. The metrics of progression come from the innovation strategy, ensuring you get what you need, but being flexible enough to recognise the iterative nature of innovation. All stages feed into creating an innovative culture; an engaged workforce, aligned on creating the future the organisation needs.

Once the culture is pulling in your direction, then magic will happen!

In future posts, we’ll explore each stage in more depth, sharing how innovative companies, such as Whirlpool, Cisco and 3M are successful and how you can apply our framework to your world.

When you do Better Innovation, you solve the common challenges that are faced in innovation.

  • You have better focus on where innovation is most valuable.
  • Your outcomes are better: they are more successful and sustainable, and therefore, measurable.
  • You get the innovation impact where your organisation most needs it. Be better.

Here’s the link to the next post. If you like to know more about how to make innovation better now, contact us at info@innovate21.co.

Photo by Dragos Gontariu on Unsplash



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Harvey Wade

Harvey Wade

Harvey is the founder of Innovate21, a passionate advocate of making innovation better so it delivers the impact needed.