Innovation in any organization (private, public, non-profit, etc.)
starts with making choices.
When left alone innovation will not just happen. R&D and invention are not innovation, and being creative and generating opportunities and ideas do not have value if there is no means to validate, develop and execute them. Culture, collaboration and employee empowerment can influence innovation but cannot deliver it.
So it does come down to making choices.
If you ignore innovation and do nothing you have made a choice. If you choose to innovate you have two additional choices to make;
CHOICE ONE – Don’t get too committed, get some free advice, play with it, implement some ad-hoc practices (maybe some book you read while on holiday), get some ideas that have no alignment to your corporate objectives and vision, not to mention innovation objectives. Get some seemingly good ideas that you have no means to fully develop and execute, frustrate your employees, disembark other stakeholders, waste time, money and resources, ultimately fail, and kill the initiative.
CHOICE TWO – Make a commitment, do it with some tangible structure that you can evaluate, measure, improve and build on for the long-term. Take a holistic view and purposely develop a solid base and capability for effective and sustained innovation designed to mature over time based on a body of knowledge.
Regardless of your current innovation status there is nothing wrong with getting a fresh start and fixing previous mistakes and there is always room for improvement in any innovation system.
It’s hard to argue logic, if you want effective and sustained innovation make the right choice.