5 factors for your innovation strategy

by | Aug 11, 2013

An innovation strategy is crucial, especially when innovation is unchartered territory for an organisation.  The innovation world can be complex and mysterious, and how not to innovate can be just as important as how to innovate. Building a culture of innovation will require fresh ideas and benchmarks.

To help light the path, Forbes has put together five tips that will be important for anyone’s innovation strategy.

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1. Innovation is not output.

Like any great endeavour, innovation is not about the destination – it’s about the journey. If output is solely your focus, you are looking at the past. If you examine conditions, you are helping to build a future. This may be the most important point when building your innovation strategy.

2. Innovation is about measurement

It is crucial to measure what you’re doing. Building innovation from the ground up requires trust and open communication, a win/win mindset for all and embracing diversity. Finding ways to measure these may be tough, but it is that task which will lead to further reflection.

3. Strategic importance is inversely proportional to ease of measurement

Every organisation has a culture where it has factors it measures, examines and treasures. Strategic thinking isn’t about existing factors that are already measured. It’s about looking at new metrics, at new benchmarks. Considering what is not known and what is not measured is vital for an innovative company.

4. That you measure is as important as what you measure

Measure leading indicators (culture), not lagging indicators (output). As you build an innovation strategy, imperfect measures are better than no measures at all, as these can be revisited and refined. If there is no existing way to measure something like trust, create one. It may be faulty, but this produces an opportunity to perfect a way of measuring.

5. Intentional leadership is crucial

When the subject in question is innovation, distractions are everywhere and can spring up all the time. Strong leadership means staying focused and not straying from the path. The intention of leadership must bring culture into the spotlight and a commitment to keep eyes on that spotlight.

Jeffrey Tobias

About Jeffrey Tobias

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well-known startups.

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Managing Director, The Strategy Group

Dr Tobias is an accomplished innovation consultant and entrepreneurship strategist, drawing expertise from the academic, entrepreneurial and corporate worlds. Jeffrey’s commercial and business experience is particularly focussed on lean startup, design thinking and leadership. Prior to The Strategy Group, Jeffrey was Cisco’s Global Lead for Innovation in the Internet Business Solutions Group helping Fortune Global 500 companies improve customer experience and grow revenue by transforming how they do business.
Jeffrey is a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship teaching MBA students at the Australian Graduate School of Business at the University of New South Wales. An active angel investor, Jeffrey is on the board of various well known startups. Jeffrey’s corporate background includes leading global innovation strategy at Cisco, working with large corporates such as Adobe, Westpac, Telstra, Woolworths, and Perpetual.

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