How to deliver innovation at a pace many struggle to achieve

In recent years, the pace of innovation has accelerated, and it is not expected to slow down. New technologies and digital transformation are the primary driver of this. Many organizations are aware of this, but few know how to stay ahead of it.

In a recent study by McKinsey & Company, they found that 84% of CEO’s believe that innovation is critical for business growth, but only 6% were satisfied with their innovation efforts.

Do you identify with the innovative 6 percent – or the remaining 78 percent that are dissatisfied?

Regardless of where you find yourself, if your company truly embraces a growth mindset, then you know innovation is not about the current state or status quo, – it is about a future state and what’s next. To innovate today requires businesses to embrace digital technology. It is the fuel – both the strategy and the speed – that positions businesses to compete and grow.

Take the sting out of the buzzword “innovation”

Innovation is a buzz-word that can have different meanings to different companies, and given the pace at which it is happening, innovation is more elusive now than ever.

It’s often associated with “a-ha” moments or reserved for elite companies with brilliant minds and endless resources. However, when you break it down, innovation simply refers to an organization’s ability to bring valuable solutions to the marketplace. Companies too often can get caught up in comparing themselves to competitors and copying their efforts, but this will not get you to where you need to be to excel in today’s rapidly changing environment. Innovative companies today are always curious, are open to change, and have a process for innovation. Yes, a process for innovation.

Many people interpret process as a prohibitor of innovation. They view it as handcuffs to creativity, but a process that is intentional about innovation guides teams through steps that unlocks creative thinking and allows them to apply it to something relevant.

Create your innovation process

One form of an innovation process is embodied in what we call a “Continuous Innovation Pipeline (CIP).” A CIP is a process, methodology, and partnership all in one. It continuously identifies, tests, and brings new ideas to your organization that are fueled by tech scouting, macro & industry trends, benchmarking, and consumer research. Leading ideas can get developed into proofs of concept, which then can be strategically assessed before moving into production.

By implementing a CIP, you gave your team strategic space and time on a reoccurring cadence to intentionally generate and identify areas of opportunity for your business. While many ideas can be generated within the four walls of an organization, sometimes an outside perspective can be the link to thinking differently which exposes a whole new set of possibilities.

Innovation as a partnership

Innovation as a partnership applies a strategic lens on talent and technical capability. It involves a cross-functional view of the organization that is not departmentalized. It takes the best insights from others internally and externally to customize solutions specific to your challenge. And in a world of open innovation and specialized skills, partnerships that go beyond the walls of your own organization become essential to providing the deep experience, technical expertise, and necessary speed to compete.

Innovation requires intentionality  

Innovation is made up of a lot of things – a mindset, a strategy, a process, a partnership, messy and challenging, fun and invigorating, continuous and ongoing. But above all it requires intentionality.

We understand the mounting pressure that organizations are under today to innovate and grow. We want to meet businesses where they are – and help them get to where they want to be.  If you’re curious what a continuous innovation pipeline could look like in your organization, reach out to us, because partnership is part of the process.

Taryn is a Twisthink leader who is passionate about creating outstanding experiences for our clients and developing a world class brand.

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