INSIGHTS / Innovation 
Innovation Management Systems
Why organisations need an Innovation Management System
 WRITTEN BY 
29-12-2022

Innovation as a Management System

Innovation is often considered an ad hoc event that happens when someone has a great idea. But if an organization wants to be truly innovative, they need to have a system that allows it to repeat the process and generate new ideas into successful innovations.

In our experience, some businesses struggle and need help finding ways to make their innovation strategies actionable.

They want to be innovative but need to learn how to go about it.

Why Organizations Need an Innovation Management System

Let us start with why organizations need an innovation management system.

Because innovation is hard, not all ideas become successful, and organizations have competing priorities in managing day-to-day operations.

From a long-term sustainability perspective, organizations need to innovate, respond and adapt quickly to their industry or sector changes. Otherwise, they are at risk of a slow decline or getting disrupted.

For example, we have the film camera businesses being disrupted by the digital camera businesses, which are being disrupted by smartphones.


Innovation as a Management System

The Fundamental Benefit of an Innovation Management System Is to Take Innovation from a Series of One-Off Projects to a Repeatable Process, Delivering Innovation Outcomes and Benefits.


What are the Critical Elements of an Innovation Management System?

We have the innovation process in the middle of the system.

The leadership team supports the process, and the strategic plan has innovation as a top priority with strategies and objectives.

The leadership sets the culture for innovation and supporting all staff.

The innovation system has a feedback loop to review and improve the innovation outcomes and system.

 

The Innovation Process

Innovation entails using the right processes and the most appropriate toolkit that promotes exploration, discovery and fast experimentation. However, the innovation process also involves scaling up and embedding the innovation into the organization to achieve growth and long-term sustainability.

The Innovation process journey can be described in phases; Opportunity Identification > Opportunity Evaluation > Scaling Up > Growth.


The four Innovation Phases are:
  1. Opportunity Identification – Ideation, finding great ideas, concept development.
  2. Opportunity Development – Market research, strategy development, developing, testing and piloting those ideas into the new product, service, program or business.
  3. Scaling Up – Launching the innovation, testing and validating that systems and processes are ready to scale.
  4. Growth – Delivering the innovation at scale, driving growth so that the innovation is sustainable and merges successfully into the organization.
What is interesting about the innovation process is that the first two steps are mainly focused on experimentation, design thinking, testing and validation.

The last two steps are focused on execution, implementing into the business operations, scaling up and delivering long-term results.

Innovation as a Repeatable Process


 

Innovation Budgets and Funding

The innovation system has a budget and provides the funding.

The required funding typically increases from the ideas stage to scaling up and growth.

Innovation Funding

 

Culture

The cultural part of innovation is critical—innovation results from iterative experimental learning. Innovation requires an empowering work environment. To facilitate increased innovation, one needs to enable and drive innovative behaviors by aligning culture, structure, leadership behaviors, measurements and rewards.

Highly innovative organizations foster an innovation culture based on trust among their people. In such a culture, people understand that their ideas are embraced, resources are committed, and they are equipped with the innovative tools and techniques to work collaboratively as a team. Promoting and encouraging innovation behaviors such as ideation, developing, testing, and validating are key motivators to facilitate innovation.

Our Innovation Study found that high-Innovation organizations have on average, 49% greater innovation capability than their low-Innovation peers. High-Innovation organizations have a significant advantage when it comes to their people, innovation tools and innovation metrics.

Innovation Benefits Delivered




 

Building Innovation Capability

A critical element of the innovation system is building innovation capability. This capability enables staff to think differently about ideas and opportunities and know how to strengthen these ideas into innovations.


What is Innovation Capability?

Innovation capability can be defined as an organization’s potential and capacity to generate, develop, and implement novel ideas effectively. It involves a combination of processes, tools, behaviors, and mindsets that allow an organization to improve, adapt, and grow continually. This capability produces more than new products or services; it shapes a resilient and forward-thinking corporate culture.

Why is it Critical?

  • Dynamic Problem Solving: Equipped with innovation capability, staff can approach challenges with a fresh perspective, resulting in more diverse and practical solutions.
  • Competitive Advantage: Organizations that nurture innovation stand out in the marketplace. They’re more adaptable, agile, and poised to seize new opportunities or pivot in response to challenges.
  • Future Growth: By laying a foundation of innovation, companies can more easily anticipate market trends, customer needs, and technological advancements, ensuring sustained growth and relevance.


Building Capability

One such approach that has delivered great success in building innovation capability is Innovation Sprints, which is explained in detail here.

 

High-Innovation Organizations Deliver More Benefits

Our research studies showed that high-innovation companies realize significantly more benefits from their innovation effort than mainstream or disrupted organizations.



Building Innovation Capability


A Balanced Portfolio of Innovations

Another benefit is to ensure that the organization has a balanced portfolio of innovations.

These will be incremental innovations, sustaining innovations and breakthroughs or transformative innovations.

What is interesting is that incremental innovations account for over 80% of all innovations. They are quick hits that can be delivered in less than 12 months.

In comparison, breakthrough innovations can take many years before becoming truly successful.

Innovation Portfolio


 

What Side of the Innovation Tipping Point Are You On?

A key question for organizations planning to set up their innovation system is how fast we should respond to the innovations and disruptions in our industry.

The adaptions and take up of innovations will vary across the many organizations in your industry or sector.

Our innovation research shows many innovators and early adopters who are the first to respond and capture most of the benefits. Our recent innovation research quantified that these organizations charge twice the benefits compared to average organizations.

This is because the organizations that are slow to respond are playing catchup to get to the new norm.

What side of the innovation tipping point do you want to be?

The Innovation Disruption Curve



 

Innovation Checklist

Innovation Checklist
 

DOWNLOAD THE CHECKLIST  

 

Innovation Benchmarks

Our innovation research identified significant capability differences between highly innovative organizations and their peers.

Using this research, Chase developed Innovation Benchmarks for organizations to measure their strongest and weakest innovation areas, benchmark their innovation score against leading innovators and offer suggestions to help organisations develop their innovation capability and progress towards innovation leadership.

Innovation Benechmarks

 

BENCHMARK YOUR INNOVATION CAPABILITIES

The Chase Innovation Benchmarks provide deep insights into the capability gaps of organizations compared to leading innovators. Take this short diagnostic to gauge your organization’s progress towards innovation leadership.


How Chase Can Help


Chase helps clients build their innovation capabilities and maximize the impacts of their innovation investments. We help our clients look at the future differently from various perspectives, helping them to innovate and transform themselves.


Additional Resources
Innovation Research Studies - find out what enables highly innovative organisations to grab the opportunities for innovation.
Innovation Diagnostic - Learn about your strongest and weakest areas and what you can do to develop your innovation capability that delivers results.
Ready to accelerate your innovation? Chase offers a complimentary 30-minute discussion to help organisations accelerate.


 
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