An unanticipated outcome of the COVID pandemic was the explosion of innovation that companies embraced in order to survive and thrive. Many companies modified or radically changed their business models. Organizations rapidly shifted to a remote workforce and implemented technologies like Zoom to make that possible. New products and services were ideated, developed and launched at break-neck speed in order to fill emerging customer needs. In the back office, automation technologies helped streamline manual processes that traditionally required onsite attention.
Companies that embraced this change are now much better positioned for success. Many aren’t going back to the “old days”. They realize that innovation and transformation shouldn’t just be a reaction to a societal or market dynamic; rather, they understand that a mindset of continuous innovation must be embraced as part of organizational culture.
InnoMetrix is designed for organizations that have embarked on a path of continuous innovation. So how do you enable innovation to thrive in your organization?
Ideation is just a fun exercise unless there is a structured approach to make it happen. That’s why InnoMetrix provides a hierarchy of goals, strategies and initiatives along with the critical ability to plan investments and capacity.
The goal defines the intended outcome. It could be market share gain, increased revenue, a new acquisition or other desired result. Goals can start broadly but will naturally become more specific as they are hashed out. It’s also important to quantify, for prioritization and performance tracking purposes, how much budget an organization is willing to spend in order to achieve that goal.
Next, there are strategies. Strategies are the high-level approaches taken to achieve goals. If the goal is to increase market share, the strategy could be the optimization of a product line or the introduction of a new disruptive product. Often, it can take several strategies working in tandem to achieve goals.
Tied to strategies are the initiatives. Initiatives are the concrete steps needed to attain goals. This is where investment and capacity planning take place. Initiative planning is a critical step that is best approached with a gated approval process. At any point during the gating process, initiatives can be moved forward, paused or shelved. The first three gates in InnoMetrix are used for planning and approving human and financial investments in progressively greater detail. Gates 4 and 5 are for the execution phase while gate 6 is for the “in production” and analysis phase.
As the innovation portfolio grows, it may become necessary to prioritize which ones to move forward with and at what time. Effective means for evaluating and prioritizing goals include financial metrics such as NPV, IRR and Payback. These metrics enable an “apples to apples” comparison of expected benefits to the organization. The initiative planning process also establishes the timings for capital and capacity outlays; thus, eliminating the bottlenecks that often occur in siloed planning processes.
Innovation and transformation programs are a proven means to drive business growth and profitability. Companies that continuously invest in innovation are more responsive to disruption and better attuned to client needs. While innovation programs can be inherently chaotic, they don’t need to be. Solutions like InnoMetrix can help channel the chaos into a structured program for innovation and success.