The Key Elements of Innovation

The Key Elements of Innovation

Being able to manage the key elements of innovation so it becomes a focused, well-developed and repeatable activity, is a key characteristic that separates the most successful businesses from the rest.

Effective ongoing innovation requires a focus on the three key elements of innovation. These are having:

  • A well developed and clear innovation strategy
  • The right focus on people
  • The right business processes and procedures to support creativity and innovation

There is a lot of depth to each of these elements; they are highly interdependent and must be well developed and managed to maximise success.

The key elements of innovation are vital for effective ongoing innovation.

The Key Elements of Innovation – Moving Beyond Ad Hoc Innovation Activity

For a business to maintain maximum success in the long-term, it must not only recognise the need for innovation but move beyond ad hoc and impulse-driven innovation activity.

Innovation must be honed into a core business competency, one that is ingrained into the business’s mission, strategy and mode of operation.

The key elements of innovation involve:

  • Knowing where to focus your efforts
  • Understanding creativity and how to harness it
  • Understanding the process of innovation and establishing appropriate routines

You must be able to embrace creativity and marshal the resources and capabilities needed to transform selected ideas into commercial reality!

You need to be able to embrace creativity and strategically manage your resources in order to make your ideas a reality.

How to Manage the Key Elements of Innovation

To get the most out of your innovation efforts, all three key elements of innovation need to be managed as a whole.  Being good at one or two isn’t enough.

Innovation must become a focused, well-developed and repeatable process.

At a high level, this involves establishing:

  • A suitable innovation strategy
  • A focus on people
  • Key innovation processes and procedures

The Right Strategy

One of the key elements of innovation involves having a suitable innovation strategy that establishes the context for your innovation activity.

A coherent plan that allocates your resources in line with your overarching business strategy.

One that ensures the investments you make in innovation align with the business’s goals and objectives – reducing wasted time and effort, promoting maximum success.

If you don’t have a clear innovation strategy, you put the future of your innovation activities, your business and possibly more at risk.

The Right Focus on People

Given that creativity and innovation are inherently human endeavours, people are a key element of innovation.

Without the right focus on people, creativity fails to emerge, and innovation will prove elusive.

To succeed at ongoing innovation, you must establish:

  • Sound talent acquisition practices
  • An environment of sharing, collaboration and creativity
  • Effective learning and knowledge accumulation practices

An essential element of innovation is having people with the talent, willingness and energy to engage collaboratively in both the creative and learning processes that underpin innovation. Those who will sustain the level of effort, collaboration and knowledge required to drive ongoing innovation.

While innovation isn’t rocket science, it requires sustained hard work (resources, motivation and the focus needed to do something constructive with them).

The Right Processes and Procedures

The last of the key elements of innovation is developing the right business routines needed to support ongoing innovation.  The processes and procedures needed to:

  • Search for valuable ideas
  • Select the most appropriate ideas
  • Test, refine and implement the chosen ideas
  • Capture maximum value from their implementation
You need to implement the right processes and procedures in order to support the routines that drive ongoing innovation.

Getting Routine and Innovation Work Done

Due to the fact that people operate within a particular system and business structure that results in a unique way of doing things and a unique culture, this plays a significant role in their ability to engage in both routine and innovation work.

If you want to sustain ongoing success, you must know where to focus and develop the right routines and culture that’ll support both routine and innovation work.

One without the other isn’t enough!

If you would like to learn more about how to manage the key elements of innovation and develop your innovation management capabilities, give the team at Fortitude Business Consulting a call on 1300 551 040.

You can download the pdf version of the blog here:
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About the Author

Grant Ferry

With over 20 years experience in advising business owners, I passionately believe small to medium size business are the engine room of the economy and that ongoing innovation is the fuel that powers their growth and their owner’s long-term success.

Through a wide range of practical experience, I understand that Business Strategy and Business Innovation are critical elements for sustained business success.

The right Business Strategy is needed for the business to realise the owner’s goals and dreams. Ongoing Business Innovation is needed to not only survive in an increasingly competitive and global market but to also drive sustained business growth and success over time.

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