There is arguably no more important portion of innovation’s thousand-mile journey than the first step. Many initiatives have sealed their fate in decisions made in those first days. Leading innovators succeed by outperforming on 10 dimensions.
Asking yourself how you stack up on each of the dimensions below can help you set priorities and steer your venture toward success.
1. Objectives – My project’s objectives are agreed upon: they are well-defined and will answer a clear business challenge and consumer need.
2. Process – My organization has a formalized, trusted innovation process. A stage-gate process has been established, which will allow my project to proceed with speed and receive the funding required.
3. Consumer Insight – My organization and brand have a clear understanding of our most valued consumers’ priorities, expectations and unmet needs.
4. Vision – My brand has a clear long-term innovation vision and strategy that is aligned with the organization’s larger purpose.
5. Culture – My organization believes in and is committed to innovation. There is trust and collaboration across functions and levels. Management is open and willing to change long-held habits.
6. Leadership – My leadership is committed to innovation and believes it will lead to profitable growth. Leaders demonstrate their commitment to innovation regularly in their actions and decisions.
7. Company & Brand Fit – My brand and strategy will likely support the solutions selected. Consumers will give my brand permission to extend into this space.
8. Competitive Landscape – Our area of opportunity is a whitespace, relatively free to well-funded competitors. My organization possesses a number of assets that give us a clear right to play and win.
9. Financial Health – My organization and brand are financially stable and will have the necessary finances to pursue new opportunities.
10. Execution Capabilities – My organization is likely to possess the capabilities required to deliver my solution at scale. We will be able to test and commercialize solutions with reasonable time and investment.