Innovations do not just happen. And even if a flash of inspiration might seem to come out of nowhere, it only appears and can only be used efficiently if the conditions are right. ‘Chance favours the prepared mind,’ as the French chemist and physicist Louis Pasteur said in the 19th century. And, in line with this, innovations only benefit companies that are ready for them.
WHAT BEING READY FOR INNOVATION MEANS
- Empowerment: sequential top-down processes no longer work. This requires companies to fundamentally rethink how they’re approaching innovation. The GDI encourages bottom-up innovations, or, in other words, innovations coming from every area of a company.
- Culture and leadership: if you want to lay the foundations for innovation, you need leadership and a culture that permit and promote creativity and a willingness to take risks. A highly dynamic environment sees innovation as a value and an attitude for all stakeholders.
- Knowledge of trends: if you want to develop resilient future strategies and innovations in today’s fast-paced times, these strategies and innovations have to be based on a fundamental analysis of environmental developments (trend analysis) and ‘big bets’ (or speculation on future scenarios). To do this, you need the relevant expertise and know-how.
- Diversity: innovations should be developed in interdisciplinary teams so different perspectives and scenarios can be taken into account. To this end, we work with cross-functional and cross-industry innovation boards. However, strategy boards are often responsible for innovation roadmaps and decisions. Clarity in terms of the order situation and coordination between the teams of developers and decision-makers is crucial for success.
ARE YOU READY FOR INNOVATION?
- Vision: systematic innovations are led by vision and strategy. Do you have a vision and a strategy – and are they ambitious enough?
- Scope: the scope of desired innovations needs to be clear. Are you looking for incremental improvements or ground-breaking disruptions?
- Resources: is it clear how many resources can be used – in terms of time, money, staffing?
- Tools: are the necessary skills and tools available?
- Culture: how strong are the culture of innovation and the leadership, and how do they align with the strategy?