Can you define?
- What business you are in?
- What environment you are operating in?
This begins with a problem or a goal that needs to be achieved; this is formulated into an innovation challenge. This is presented to a group or team to solve this task, or generation of possible solutions. This may be done in the form of brainstorming, idea generation or other innovative process. The team can consist of employees, suppliers & customers, general public or by the use of crowd sourcing.
In order to maximise the potential outcome of the problem solving group, the methods to generate ideas should be collaborative, and if possible fun. When we are enjoying an activity, our mind relaxes, lets down our guard and we tend to be more creative.
Ideas in this process cycle starts with a challenge, ideas come from all aspects of your business, process, services, products, staff and more besides, they can be interrelated, diverse and perhaps complimentary. The best method is to combine these complimentary ideas into clusters that can be handled in a single package.
Idea generation, organisations can spend resources on idea generation, only for this ‘report’ handed to a superior who cherry picks a solution, which is less than an ideal method, hopefully based on expertise rather than popularity. The scientific approach of peer review is suited to identify the most promising ideas, ranking ideas based on categories, such as potential development, suitability, commercial or simply the most effective idea to implement.
Testing & Development
Ideas identified as being potential innovation, is now ready to be tested and developed. The uses of prototypes are a good example of testing. Make a prototype, with the basic of features, test it with your customers, and get their feedback, opinions and reaction to its design, functionality and whatever you require.
Of course it is not perfect, but it indicates possible issues in the implementation of the idea, as well as benefits that may not have been obvious to the original idea developers. They are an excellent means for testing ideas. By building ad playing with a prototype, this is a good method of further improving upon the core idea. Prototypes are, ideally suited towards material ideas such as new products, but those abstract ideas, new services, process improvements and other concepts can be prototyped through role-play, making diagrams.
Ideas that make it through these stages are typically ready to be implemented.
Once the idea has been implemented, they need to be review, against milestones and targets. Even at this stage, under-performing ideas/products may have to be killed off, and or reviewed at regular intervals.