The rapid change in technology allows for great innovation, yet too many times IT leadership doesn’t end up following through on the good ideas being generated.
We've got some thoughts on why this is, and how organizations can begin to create the type of innovation they say they want.
Your ideas aren't getting implemented, but you can change that.
In many IT environments, innovation is managed by task lists. While a task list is appropriate for getting through a backlog of work, it's not the right environment for implementing new ideas.
Task lists don't increase anyone's understanding of new ideas; they just use prescribed tasks to move activities forward in a linear fashion.
To really move innovative ideas forward, you need an innovation system that can adapt, measure and help you pivot towards outcomes to ensure accountability. These 5 tips can help you get ideas implemented now.
1. Build a system to help you roll out ideas before you start working on implementation.
The task list will not help you get there. A system that allows your staff to test and play, track progress toward goals, and innovate in a safe manner will be more useful. You've got the skills to build it in-house, so get to it.
2. Building an innovation system is an investment and requires investment from your team accordingly.
The saying goes: you'll either pay for it now or you’ll pay for it later. Too many organizations think of new ideas as "opportunities" and go about implementing them "opportunistically."
In reality, there are actually few truly strategic ideas. Successful innovation comes when you taking what you already have and put it together in new ways to relieve pain points and solve problems. Stop treating everything as new and unique (unless you want to die from a thousand paper cuts).
3. An implementation system should be rigidly defined, yet flexible.
These two opposing qualities will ensure the system is flexible enough to adapt to different requirements, yet rigid enough to really allow for a deployment to test its functionality.
4. New ideas should only require a 20% modification to your systems.
You are innovating, not reinventing. If you need to modify the system more than 20%, you didn't build it correctly in the first place.
5. If your great new ideas aren’t getting implemented with these guidelines in place, you might be looking at a systems problem.
If you set this environment up and you still experience problems rolling out innovations, there's more at play. Make sure the team understands the difference between "working in" your business versus "working on" your business.
In other words: don’t be the hamster running in the wheel.
You know if you don't innovate, you risk falling behind. These tips can help you maintain your competitive edge in the changing digital environment.