Looking for project success? Don’t ignore innovation

Project Challenge speaker David Dunning explains why organisations should embrace innovation to develop products and solve business problems.

Innovation: Does it really matter?

Innovation is a process that helps organisations originate new products and ideas. In a constantly changing environment no one can afford to stay still, investment in Innovation is a key differentiator that helps organisations survive, compete and evolve.

In today’s world of fast paced products and services, organisations that don’t take innovation seriously can only expect to become less competitive and less profitable. A greater volume of better ideas, generates more commercial potential and will allow better focus of resource to drive strategy forward.

The barriers to effective innovation

Innovative organisations apply their collective imaginations to drive commercial strategy and to encourage bottom up creativity, but all too often this is not embedded as part of corporate culture.  Some organisations delegate innovation into specific focused groups, or provide nods to innovation with suggestion boxes, but fail to set resources aside to properly consider the ideas yet alone take them forward.

Making space for ideas

In order for innovation to support the business, it must be taken seriously, embraced as a valuable strategy and integrated as part of the culture. Most organisations have a formal vehicle through which they consider strategy. Many use a top down approach to innovation. Some widen the net and create a framework where people can bring their fresh ideas to the table.  Another way to benefit from innovation is to embed culture further down the line, encouraging team leaders and managers, ensuring time is set aside to create ideas and solve problems as a natural part of work behavior rather than a specific, one off initiative.

Wherever the innovation process is deployed to harness real, uninhibited creativity, it’s important that staff are supported with recognition and visibility for their engagement. Ultimately, letting your organisation know that you take innovation seriously will make your workforce more effective in solving problems, encourage them to do it again, and ultimately enhance your competitive edge.

Is technology the answer?

The answer lies in people, process, organisation and technology. People have ideas all the time, but they need a place to put them, confidence that their input will be reviewed, and the right priority allocated amongst other work and opportunity. To enable this, technology can provide a central hub, a collaborative environment where ideas can be nurtured and benefit from input from other colleagues. Ultimately business management needs support to prioritise – in order to develop the best tangible change projects or product developments. So as always technology alone is not the answer, but it will provide the platform that your processes and your people can utilise to innovate.

How can innovation culture be implemented day-to-day?

Whether top down or bottom up, whether for an organisation or a team, it is vital to identify a champion who will own innovation and move it forward. We help them map out how innovation is currently happening, understand any deficiency that exists, the benefits that might be realised from how they would like it to work. Identifying the gaps between what they are doing and where they want to be enables us to create a sensible, realistic, sustainable approach. We then work with them to define and deploy people, process, organisation and technology to drive innovation.

David will be speaking on accelerating innovation and delivering change at Project Challenge on the 15th October at 10.30am in the Solutions/Software Zone. Make sure you register for free delegate entry to hear his presentation as well as many other seminars and a packed exhibition floor.

For more information about CPS and their services, or to enquire about taking their unique “Innovation Challenge” visit the team at stand 72, or visit www.cps.co.uk.