In our previous discussion, we determined that a dedicated infrastructure is essential to supporting a management mandate — not to mention a strategy innovation. Not only is it a necessary configuration that will enable innovation to happen, but it also protects your resources from short-term KPIs that often threaten big picture ideas.

The next step is implementing a process for accomplishing the tactical goals of your innovation set forth in your mandate. Your process needs to reflect the unique business and assets of your company, and, ideally, it should evolve over time. It’s not a static process; it’s a learning process.

However, in order for your process to compliment your infrastructure and mandate, it must be your process, meaning it must be proprietary.

Avoid Off-The-Rack

In our previous post, we noted that Google is a great example of a company with a dedicated infrastructure for innovation. So, why not just cut and paste their model into your organization?

When you try to wedge someone else’s mandate, infrastructure, and process into your business, companies often find these “off the rack” solutions do not integrate with the other elements of their enterprise, period. Therefore — from culture to ROI — company X’s process will not fit company Y’s infrastructure because it was not designed to fit.

That is why, by building your process from the ground up, the four pillars of innovation will be seamlessly interconnected and organized around your mandate. This will position your innovation teams for success even before they hit the ground running.

Don’t Remake the Wheel

This doesn’t mean you have to re-invent everything. You can, of course, but it’s more important to make it your process, on your own terms. Your process should align with how your infrastructure is designed, and what you’re trying to accomplish.

By creating, adapting, owning, and deploying relevance and integration with the other pillars, your process stands a much better chance of helping you to accomplish your mandate.

Sound Off

Does your innovation process start with the customer and work backwards? If not, what would you need to change in your organization?

Be sure to share your feedback in the comments section below, and in our next discussion, Four Pillars of Innovation: Part IV – Crafting the Culture, we’ll explore how to create a culture that upholds your mandate and sustains your infrastructure.

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