Your company’s innovation strategy is an incredibly important element in taking your organization from an emerging newcomer to an established cash cow. Innovating constantly ensures your organization’s ear is always to the ground to stay proactive instead of reactive, but in many cases, that’s easier said than done. An effective innovation strategy must scale with the organization. Here are three ways to effectively scale your organization’s innovation strategy:
1. Build an expansive innovation network.
Successful innovation strategy comes from building an empowered innovation network, both internally and externally. Internally, your organization can work to foster innovation by building a culture deeply rooted in customer empathy. When employees are motivated to solve difficult problems customers face, innovation becomes more powerful. Additionally, in organizations which nurture an innovation culture, employees are enabled to innovate to solve these problems.
Externally, your organization can participate in innovation ecosystems comprised of partners, suppliers, customers, and even competitors. These ecosystems allow your organization to share knowledge and resources to solve more complex problems and add more value to customers, and the broader industry. This can propel your organization’s innovation strategy by expanding its reach and depth.
2. Develop strong processes and systems.
Processes and systems often get treated as an afterthought at scaling companies, only taken into consideration after they become an absolute necessity. The problem with waiting to develop strong processes is that they are often more well thought out and effective when the organization isn’t racing to create one. This is especially important for your innovation strategy because it needs a strong support system to organize innovations, track success, and replicate what’s working well.
Focus on developing strong processes and systems which address the creation, development, execution, and measurement of ideas. For example, an intellectual property management system can easily keep track of which employees have submitted ideas, full specs on those ideas, and how they fit into the broader innovation strategy of the organization. Addressing the operational development of these processes builds the backbone on which your innovation strategy can grow.
3. Constantly evaluate success (or failure).
The key to building scaling any strategy is constant review and measure your progress. The same is true for your innovation strategy. As your organization implements the systems and processes mentioned above, be sure to include regular mechanisms for collecting and evaluating data. Benchmarking the success of innovations can mean measuring the sales or usage of an innovation, the size and value of intellectual property portfolios, percent of employees’ time, or any any other metrics or combination of metrics which accurately shed light on performance.
Regular measurement allows the organization to view what pieces of the innovation strategy is working well or not so well so leadership can replicate success. Additionally, this view can inform where investments should be made to most effectively leverage intellectual property in order to stay competitive. An intellectual property management system can streamline this process and pinpoint which assets are being ineffectively leveraged.
As your company scales, it’s important to plan and scale innovation strategy to sustain its benefits and keep the organization poised for success. A proper innovation strategy can help spur the ideation and development of critical intellectual property assets which can be used to drive value in many ways. To learn how your scaling company can effectively leverage its intellectual property, download this free ebook.