Guest Post By: Kate Priestman – Head Of Marketing, Global App Testing
Innovation is one of the major driving forces behind business and technological development. According to a Mckinsey report, 84% of executives believe innovation is important to their development strategy.
The innovation process breeds invention and discovery, and we may also regard it as the foundation of technology.
Having realized its importance, many managers and CEOs are already implementing innovative ideas in the workplace. However, many of them are moving at crawling speed which can be quite frustrating.
Having creative ideas is not enough; you need innovation to move rapidly to make something of these creative brainwaves. By following the following six principles, you’ll turbocharge your innovative processes and improve your workflow endlessly.
1. Prioritize and Curate a Particular Problem
Identifying problems helps to clarify the need for innovation. The desire to solve the problem leads to critical thinking, which is a requirement for innovation. This process is also applicable to innovation acceleration.
Identifying and properly defining problems gives a direction to the innovative process. However, the best way to speed up innovation is to focus on a specific problem.
Focusing on one problem involves filtering through hundreds of issues identified, picking one, and curating it. During the curation process, you’ll break the problem down into parts. From then, you can form a hypothesis and innovative solutions to tackle the problem.
Good problem curation results in an adequate understanding of the issue and how to solve it. Focusing on a particular problem makes it easier to develop a clear path to implement development strategy.
Not only that, it shortens the time you’ll need to implement the innovation and complete QA processes. But, it may not significantly influence the time it’ll take for results to become evident.
2. Promote a Culture of Creativity
Many companies stifle employee creativity then wonder why their innovative processes are slow. These companies choose to stick to traditional rigid policies that give little room for new ideas. Through their rigidity, they smother the voices and imagination of their workers. This situation will then hurt the innovation management process.
To succeed and speed up the innovative processes, organizations need to embrace creative thinking. You need to harness the imaginations and ideas of your employees. In other words, you need to create a quality culture that encourages creativity and imaginative thinking in the workplace.
Creative and imaginative thinking is an intentional process in which employees expand their thought processes to find new useful ideas. It involves finding solutions to problems or, in this case, ways to speed up innovation. Hence, it is necessary for a team looking to accelerate innovation.
3. Take Care of Funding Sources
Your innovation will only go as far as your funding does. You need proper financial backing to accelerate your innovative process. In other words, you need financial stakeholders who will provide the funds and resources you require to accelerate the innovation.
One of the main issues surrounding funding sources is that you can’t approach just anybody to provide the funds for furthering the project. Thankfully, this is a problem you can solve with stakeholder mapping.
Stakeholder mapping involves identifying personnel with the financial capacity and interest in being part of your project. It’s a process of finding the people with the necessary financial resources to accelerate the implementation of innovation.
Many times, what slows down innovation is a lack of financial support. Secure the fundings for the research, and watch how fast you can implement the innovation.
Nonetheless, it’s all easier said than done when it comes to getting the stakeholders on board. That’s why you need to nail the value proposition.
Nailing the value proposition will be much easier when you structure interviews based on a set of hypotheses. You can discuss problems you’re seeking to solve and the solutions you’re exploring. Doing this will increase the effectiveness of the conversation, and you can convince the prospects faster.
Finally, you need to get it right when writing a funding proposal for beneficiaries, buyers, and investors. A funding proposal is critical to developing a channel and a link for the various stages of innovation development.
4. Work With a Well-Rounded Team
Build a team of people with diverse skills who can fill certain roles as you go about the innovation. To enable your innovation process to move quickly, you need people in the following capacities:
- Teachers – they’ll be responsible for grounding the team in a common framework for the discipline of the innovative idea. For example, teachers may show team members how to use email retargeting efficiently when required.
- Mentors – their responsibility will be to provide continuous feedback to the team regarding the quality of the project.
- Advisors – the advisors help the team to cover a wider scope as they implement their ideas. They’ll provide alternative perspectives and approaches to accelerating the innovative idea.
- Connectors – the connectors help the team members grow their network while investing their time in the project. Connectors will find partners and collaborators to work on the project together with the team.
A great starting point to get acquainted with like-minded individuals or mentors in the tech space would include assimilating yourself in the thrilling world of hackathons! Explore AngelHack’s event calendar or follow on their socials to get updates on the latest hackathons around town (or the globe).
5. Always Be Ready to Adapt
According to Statista, the impact of disruptive technology in varying niches can reach trillions of dollars. We’re in the age of innovation disruption.
Every day, discoveries come up that are capable of changing the way we see and do things. In other words, innovations sometimes disrupt existing processes and technologies. It’s important to always anticipate and prepare for such disruptive innovations.
Disruptive innovations aren’t necessarily bad, they are capable of impacting your processes in an unfriendly way, however. For example, a new method of software application testing may arise and cause a slight disturbance to your workflow.
While that’s an innovation, it may impact your process negatively if it’s not compatible with your software application. That’s why you always need to be ready to accept and adapt to changes as they occur. You can prepare for disruption with a business continuity app.
Anticipating and adapting to changes may not necessarily accelerate your innovation. However, it’ll be enough to prevent the deceleration of your innovation implementation. Avoiding deceleration is important if you want to meet your innovation goals before the deadline.
6. Encourage Experimentation
We often tend to pay more attention to the risks involved with a process rather than the results we can get from it. Such thinking often makes us want to stick with the techniques that we know.
However, this approach restricts innovation. It puts a barrier around what we can achieve with innovation.
Ignoring the risks and experimenting with new ideas can lead to discoveries. These discoveries may include ways to improve the innovation process and achieve set goals faster.
Many innovative processes such as cognitive automation were all results of experimentation. With regards to innovation, the more you experiment, the more you’ll discover.
These Are the Principles You’re Looking For
You may already have a preset process for innovation in your business. However, without giving due awareness to important principles, you’re likely setting yourself up for frustration.
Mistakes in the innovation process are inevitable without taking into account the six principles above. Implement them and watch your business innovation process skyrocket.
Kate Priestman is the Head of Marketing at Global App Testing, a trusted and leading end-to-end functional testing solution for QA challenges and regression testing. Kate has over 8 years of experience in the field of marketing, helping brands achieve exceptional growth. She has extensive knowledge on brand development, lead and demand generation, and marketing strategy — driving business impact at its best. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.