The Importance of Innovation
In this rapidly changing world, we know that trying to keep up with the pace of change can be a daunting task. Maintaining and increasing market share, staying ahead of the competition, and operating efficiently require an innovative approach to set your organization apart. Minimize risk and maximize results by using a proven system that will change the way your organization operates.
Innovation Engineering (IE) is the innovation system that leverages education, tools, and software to help organizations like yours create, communicate, and commercialize ideas for new products, services, markets, or internal systems. It is based on the principles of systems thinking developed by Dr. W. Edwards Deming and has empowered organizations to innovate faster (up to 6X) and with less risk (up to 80% decrease).
We work with you to coach and guide you and your team on your innovation journey. Imagine using your own internal resources to create and test ideas to make your organization stronger, more competitive, and more successful. That’s the power of Innovation Engineering.
Step 1: Strategy
The important thing to remember is that your leadership and your team have all the answers. It is our job to ask the right questions, introduce stimulus, and help push out fear.
We start by taking your leadership team through a series of introspective questions as well as questions about the industry, future and competitive landscape to build a good list of every important area of innovation. We will typically have 20-40 potential very important opportunities or very important systems that need innovative attention.
Prioritize, pick one to start with - and begin.
Step 2: Create
You don’t need to hire a guru to come up with a great idea. Your best chance at successful innovation is by involving a diverse team from multiple departments. A game-changing idea is both unique (new and different to the world) and meaningful (the “why should I care” question has an obvious answer).
The number of meaningfully unique ideas is a direct product of what you put into the process.
Stimulus: Introducing stimulus to the “brainstorming” process is necessary for breaking out of the “box” that we tend to limit ourselves to.
Diversity: A diverse group of employees exponentially increases the effectiveness of the process.
Fear: Management/ownership can often be a limiting factor. The minute you start saying “no” and thinking of reasons why something won’t work, you halt the process. Keeping these reservations at bay is crucial.
Step 3: Communicate
Once an idea has been selected, we need to quickly and cheaply figure out whether it is worth our time pursuing. Before we can do that, we need to think through and understand the idea. This is what we call the Communicate phase. We want to understand and define the following:
- Customer – who is this for?
- Problem – where is the pain?
- Promise – what does it do?
- Proof – how do we do it?
Step 4: Commercialize
Now that we understand our idea and can see exactly how it will work, we need to test commercial viability. We don’t get attached to ideas at this point… we have lots of those if this one doesn’t work. We try to force an idea to fail in one of the following areas:
- Market – external reasons that could cause the idea to fail
- Organization – internal limitations – can we deliver?
- Technology – real prototyping & trade-offs
The goal is to FAIL FAST and FAIL CHEAP.
Innovation Engineering equips you with processes and tools for this. Market testing, math modeling, fermi estimating, viability testing, prototyping, iterative customer and prospect surveys, and much more.
Bringing it all together
Innovation Engineering is not another trendy and expensive “system of the day”. It is the real deal. It is a simple but extremely effective process that can be applied to any company and any strategic objective.
If you’d like to see it in action, we would be happy to send one of our Innovation Engineering experts to have a discussion or give a short demo so you can see it in action for yourself.