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“Innovation is the first attempt to carry out an invention in practice”.

(Fagerberg 2006)

This definition of innovation highlights the importance of looking at innovation as a process which needs to be organized and managed in order to enable the renewal of an organization. In other words, innovation is more than coming up with good ideas, it is the process of developing them into practice. Below are 4 steps for innovation, looking at it from a process perspective that can help you to develop a clear innovation strategy and better understands how to innovate your organization.

STEP 1: Search

The first core element of the innovation process model is search, which includes identifying signals in the environment about the potential for change, and incorporates awareness and attitude towards new ideas. Here it is important to observe trends in the environment and make sure the office culture is open to new ideas from everyone. Also, being open to change, especially when discovering user innovation from your coworkers may help your organization be ahead of the game in the digital era.

STEP 2: Select

The next core element of the innovation process model is select, which involves dealing with uncertainty. The use of new and untested technologies can lead to the innovation being late to market, high costs as well as unsatisfying product quality. In order to reduce these outcomes, it is central to acquire knowledge that effectively can convert uncertainty into risk. Incorporating agile methods into your new project can help you reduce this risk by working iteratively and being able to adjust and adapt quickly as the environment changes.

STEP 3: Implement

The next phase of the innovation process is implementation, where issues of how to move ideas into reality and developing products successfully are paramount. In order to manage and organize a development project in a successful way, there are different structures and support mechanisms that are favorable for product development. In order to increase your chances of being successful, it is important to balance “firmness and flexibility”. Firmness is achieved through project organization formality that delivers general control and structure. Flexibility is achieved by autonomy and resource flexibility, which helps response to a changing environment.

STEP 4: Capture

In the final phase of the innovation process model, capturing value from the innovation efforts is central. Figuring out how to deliver value to the customer and to capture value while doing so should be coupled with the development of a business model. Designing good business models should consider how value from the innovation is created and captured.

Hopefully, by following these 4 steps and considering innovation as a process, turning ideas into practice and capturing the value from them- your next product development project will be a success! Just remember that the innovation process is highly contextual and should be managed as a whole. Good luck!

Anniken Moe

Author Anniken Moe

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