Strategy may seem like an optional ingredient for innovation, but it’s actually the compass for every aspect of your innovation program. Without strategy, innovation is just high-risk chaos with haphazard results. But innovating with strategy? That’s where truly disruptive ideas happen.
If you’re not sure how to start building your innovation strategy, concentrate on just three steps. The first is to define innovation: what does your company or organization consider to be “innovative?”
To determine your definition of innovation, Harvard Business Review recommends reviewing a decade or two of your innovations to identify the types of ideas that produced significant margin and revenue gains.
Take Whirlpool, for example. For one of its products to be considered “innovative,” it must be unique and compelling to consumers; create a competitive advantage; offer the potential for further innovations; and provide consumers with more value than anything else on the market. Whirlpool has evolved this definition over time and will likely continue to scrutinize and perfect it. In your own company, follow Whirlpool’s example of reviewing and fine-tuning your definition of innovation.
Your next step involves managing innovation—as in, establishing a team to increase innovation in your business.