Innovation seems to be a tired buzzword in Singapore yet many organisations are still in the infancy stage when it comes to this. New startups excepted, companies normally pay lip service when it comes to innovation, especially if they are staring at the face of today’s big winner. It is extremely difficult to cut the apron strings from a current-performing business unit, and focus on the baby-steps of the new one. So in this article, I shall ask 15 questions to see if indeed you are running an innovative organisation, or if you have some way to go before making it the bedrock of your culture…
Answer yes or no…
Do you have a vision for your innovation strategy?
Have you segmented your strategy so as to take advantage of first mover, fast follower, or imitator positions?
Do you use a methodology to develop your innovative ideas and test them?
Are your innovation projects specifically linked to business objectives?
Are your current innovation projects aligned with your core competencies?
Do you identify the maximum time to take to bring your minimum viable product to market?
Do you have an annual budget for innovation?
Is your budget in the range of 10% – 15% of your total budget?
Are you willing to kill a project if it crosses either time or budget limits, walking away from the sunk costs?
Are all members of senior management champions of at least one innovation project?
Do you have a head of innovation who is trained to manage projects, and can guide all levels of management to success?
Are all your innovation teams trained to conduct innovation projects?
Do you have enough people in your innovation team to drive simultaneous projects?
Do you communicate your innovation strategy to all your staff and get them involved?
Have you determined the size of next year’s innovation budget?
Innovation is a strategic capability and has to be managed well. It does not specifically mean that if you had more noes than yeses, you are not in the position to innovate. But they do uncover what you lack, and if you do nothing about it, you will find innovation to be an elusive concept.