Build an Innovation Engine in 90 Days

by Scott Anthony, David S. Duncan and Pontus M.A. Siren

Most executives will admit that their companies don’t innovate in a reliable, orderly way. Too many breakthroughs happen only because of serendipity or individual heroism. Great ideas remain locked inside employees’ heads, and the concepts that are developed often aren’t the most promising. But there is a way to make innovation more systematic — without massive investments, restructuring, or even a single hire. In this article three consultants explain how a company can build a “minimum viable” innovation function, in just three months, by doing the following:

Day 1–30: Define your innovation buckets, looking at how much growth innovations in your core can produce and how much will need to come from new-growth initiatives.

Day 20–50: Zero in on a few strategic opportunities, after talking to customers to identify growing needs that match your capabilities.

Day 20–70: Dedicate a small team to begin developing innovations.

Day 45–90: Set up a committee to shepherd projects, borrowing venture capitalists’ best practices.

Drawing on the experiences of a financial services firm, a water utility, a hospital, and a 100-year-old nonprofit, the authors describe how to use this approach to build systems that ensure that good ideas are encouraged, identified, shared, prioritized, resourced, and developed. (Read the full article)