In May, Fierce attended the Entrapalooza 2013 conference, and I attended a break out session given by Insyte Consulting. The focus was putting process around innovation. The session pointed out that while many companies love the idea of innovating, they rarely think about it as a process. Innovation is really something that can be systematic, repeatable, and subject to improvement.
I think this is a powerful idea. Innovation takes into account so many aspects of business. It’s about breaking the rules and testing new ideas. Process is all about the minutia, the details, and oftentimes, taking a linear path from point A to point B.
As a leader, marrying these two concepts, innovation and process, together requires some serious skill. You must have conversations that focus on the big and the small, the straight and the curved, the singular and the many. Below are three tips to help you start today.
- Delegate. Creating an innovation process is a great way to delegate responsibility and grow your team. You may have team members that are strong at looking at the big picture and those that are good with the details – tap into that talent and enlist their help. By doing this you’re not only developing others, you’re getting their buy in, so that people will eventually follow the process.
- Be Agile. Flexibility is the name of the game whenever you innovate or create process – so it’s even more intense when you marry the two in order to create a process around innovation. Be patient, listen, and stay away from declarative statements.
- Hold Others Able. After your process is created, believe that people are able to follow what was made. And if something isn't working, have the conversation right away. Accountability is important in keeping a safe environment that is conducive to creativity.
As a leader, what conversations can you have to start creating an innovation process?