Execution is the crucial business difference between an idea and an innovation. But innovation also doesn’t end after the initial execution. A successful, small-scale deployment can lead to roll-out across an entire business. And the continual process of analysis, revision, upgrading, and fine-tuning requires more and more innovation at every stage.
In my experience, there are many challenges that affect the success of a new initiative when it reaches this stage. But I think there are three that can be anticipated – and countered – when an idea is still in its infancy.
The thought of deploying a new process or technology across a company can make even the most seasoned CIO nervous. Early tests may be successful and worthwhile, but once we reach the point of business-wide implementation, the difficulty and expense levels can rocket. If scalability can be considered at the start – across technology, people, and processes – you could save headaches down the line.
Imagine having so many new ideas flooding in that it’s impossible to choose which one to act on first. It sounds like a wonderful scenario, but if it happens then you may have to conduct some triage. Which innovations would have the greatest effect? Could that widget be developed and rolled out with minimal disruption? Is that system strong enough to support these new demands? And, perhaps most importantly, which ideas will benefit the business now, versus the longer term? Separating the tactical from the strategic can help with prioritizing both long-term innovation and the fast, simple gains.
People cannot be forced to want change, but they can be incentivized to embrace it. When rolling out a new innovation, make sure there are measurable targets for staff and managers alike – and tie these targets to incentives.
A reputation for innovation can be one of the strongest recruitment tools available to a business, attracting new talent at every level. But the ability to recognize the potential of an innovative idea, guide it through build and testing, and shepherd it to launch, is a rare talent in and of itself.
Our report Delivering on the Promise of Digital Innovation, shares the thoughts and experiences of executives from some of the top brands in the world.