“Crafting Organizational Innovation Processes” appears in the current issue of Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice
I co-authored this paper with Caroline Dombrowski (The Information School, University of Washington), Yukika Awazu (McCallum Graduate School of Business, Bentley College), Peter Baloh (Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana), Sridhar Papagari (Dept of Information & Decision Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago), Jeffrey Y Kim (The Information School, University of Washington), and Sanjeev Jha (Dept of Information & Decision Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago).
Research for this paper was funded by the Institute for Innovation in Information Management, University of Washington as part of the Leveraging Ideas for Organizational Innovation research project.
Innovation is a crucial component of business strategy, but the process of innovation may seem difficult to manage. To plan organizational initiatives around innovation or to bolster innovation requires a firm grasp of the innovation process. Few organizations have transparently defined such a process. Based on the findings of an exploratory study of over 30 US and European companies that have robust innovation processes, this paper breaks down the innovation process into discrete stages: idea generation and mobilization, screening and advocacy, experimentation, commercialization, and diffusion and implementation. For each stage, context, outputs and critical ingredients are discussed. There are several common tensions and concerns at each stage, which are enumerated; industry examples are also given. Finally, strategies for and indicators of organizational success around innovation are discussed for each stage. Successful organizations will use an outlined innovation process to create a common framework for discussion and initiatives around the innovation process, and to establish metrics and goals for each stage of the innovation process.