Innovation Governance -
its role in leadership
Why Innovation matters
Background Comments
Innovation Dimensions
Appropriating Value
Supportive Challenge
Open Innovation
Rigorus Gates
Engaging Users
Innovation Skills
Innovation Governance Checklist
Implementing Innovation Governance

Typical Ideation Process

At typical ideation process would involve:
  • A rolling strategic planning activity that maintains a view on trends that may affect the organisation, and develops a range of self-consistent scenarios that bring to life the impact of evolutionary or discontinuous change. Such scenarios are not predictions, they are chosen to exercise analysis of strategic options, not to estimate likelihood of an outcome occurring.

  • Regular workshops to bring creative people together from different areas of an organisation, perhaps including external experts, customers and suppliers, to explore opportunities for new ways to enhance or create value. Some organisations do this through regular away-days, others operate a series of open, informal workshops (eg over lunch, late-afternoon into evening) where creative and motivated people can be involved. These workshops normally have a theme and are moderated by a senior executive.

  • A network of senior managers who are members of their business area’s leadership teams and who together form an innovation backbone that spans the organisation’s businesses. These people might have a technology officer role, but their principle attribute is strong networking ability inside and outside, a good appreciation of how their organisation creates value, with good coaching and mentoring skills. This community of innovation leaders should span the business, yet be small enough to meet efficiently and often.  This community should form the access point for potential ideation leaders and acts as custodian for authorisation of ideation resourcing.

  • The ability for an individual to seek approval to be an ideation champion for a specific idea, thereby gain certain instruments to take the idea forward. Approval releases modest funds (ie small enough to be delegated to local decision) to explore specific aspects, identify the innovation champion as a legitimate explorer of the idea, able to access expertise and senior players across the organisation.

  • An expectation that an ideation champion will put in their own time into development of the idea. This can be controversial, but experience suggest that successful innovation champions need to develop the total drive that comes from having ‘skin in the game’ and accept personal commitment as part of the risk and return balance. So whilst funds are available to enable exploration activity, eg engaging end-users, building prototypes, testing key risk areas), the innovation team’s time is scavenged without direct costs.

  • Regular pitching sessions where ideation champions can present their ideas to a wide group of people, drawn, for example, from the cadre of middle and senior managers. These provide an opportunity to test thinking, and also socialise the arguments for substantive development.

  • The ideation process is complete when a compelling case can be made to enter an organisation’s formal investment process, is taken up organically within core activity in one of the business areas, or terminates where the estimated potential investment/return/risk balance is unfavourable.

Back to Ideation Dimension


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