When starting or expanding corporate innovation, you will face a flood of potential strategies, methods, and tools. At innosabi, we rely on a five-step approach to identify and shape the best course of action. In our recent guide "Starting Innovation...the Right Way!" we explain these steps in detail to help you plan and build successful innovation programs. By understanding your challenges and potential solutions as facets of three general categories (better understanding, more ideas, or faster results), you will be able to target specific points of leverage. Maximize impact, get the quick wins, and create the momentum to (re-)define your innovation process step by step. Starting with this article, we want to share a series of blog posts to highlight some of the arguments from the guide. So let's jump right in with a question that many might have faced already: What's up with all of the different methods and tools?!
Making Sense of Methods
There will always be buzzwords and hyped, new methods flying around in the realm of innovation. This can be intimidating to people and companies new to the field. Or even worse: it can be tempting to buy into false promises and set out on a path that eventually leads you down a dead end. So, the first thing we suggest at the start of every innovation journey is to adopt a simple framework or categories to better differentiate the potential methods and approaches.
Innovation has many different facets, and innovation methods tend to focus on specific ones. Even if everything and everyone promises you "innovation" as the outcome, we can clearly differentiate how they want to achieve it by having a closer look. In our experience, the simplest and most practical way to segment the many methods, approaches, and tools in your daily business is this:
Obviously, not everything can be boxed into one of these clear-cut categories. Depending on individual perspectives, there will always be some overlap or multiple fits. But the framework's value is clearly evident once you give it a try with some of the usual innovation methods:
It's the prime example of creating better, innovative solutions by understanding the users' needs and challenges. And even more so, it advocates for iterations at every step to make the right decisions or revise them.
At its core, nothing more than the effort to better understand what's to come and improve decision-making or strategic focus under uncertainty.
The focus on getting more ideas that can potentially turn into real development projects is quite obvious.
Accelerator programs? Innovation fast tracks? Rapid prototyping?
It's already in the name . . .
Of course, our goal is not to classify methods and approaches. We want to help you identify the right ones for you and zoom in on even more specific points of leverage. But with the right framework to categorize different approaches, it will become a lot easier to really understand the options you have and pick what really solves your need. This is what we will focus on in the next part. You can download the whole guide right away, or read up on it in our next article of this blog series.
Get the Full Guide
Making Sense of Methods is only the first part of our multi-step guide to starting and expanding innovation programs. There are a lot more useful insights in the full guide. It's available for free to download via the form below. Give it a read and let us know if you need any more input or inspiration for your innovation journey. We will get you started in no time!