Purpose first in innovation management, says Skarzynski

To create a successful innovation challenge, ‘you need to be very clear on the purpose for which you are launching the challenge and on the process that suits that’, Peter Skarzynski explains. Plus, ‘there have to be some incentives’ for participation. The top innovation strategist spoke on innovation management at the latest Exago webinar, on 4 September.

Following up on his first Exago webinar, ‘How to sustain innovation inside organisations’, this time he addressed the subject ‘Insight enabled innovation: Principles and practice’.

The 45-minute session, hosted by Exago’s director, Pedro do Carmo Costa, dealt with three main topics: harnessing the collective intelligence of the organisation in terms of insights about the customer, the context and the company; converting those insights into a proprietary point of view; generating ideas based on these insights.

The next webinar featuring this bestselling author – ‘Sustaining innovation: From ideas to value’ – takes place on 2 October, at 5 pm GMT+1 (12 pm EST).

The job to be done
‘What job do you want innovation to do within your organisation?’ This is the first question you have to ask, Peter says. You need to develop an end-to-end view of innovation management.

Leadership’s role should also be clear, he adds. You must have visible advocates for innovation inside your organisation, as well as address different dimensions of innovation. These include your product or service and its point of difference; customer target and the benefits delivered; go-to-market strategy; ways to configure channels and a plan to sustain advantage while creating and capturing value.

Where do great ideas come from?
Great ideas come from great entrepreneurs who tend to break with orthodoxies – but also from insight-driven innovation. ‘Smart-enough people is not enough when you want a scalable approach’, Peter explains.

Surface unmet customer needs. Challenge dogma. Anticipate disruption. Extend and repurpose know-how. These are the kinds of insights you need to develop, according to this innovation strategist.

So, ‘start with insights, use the right to ideate’. Next, use insights to shape a point of view, to start exploring possibilities – ‘creating ideas which ladder up to strategic innovation domains’. ‘Innovation thrives when it becomes a systemic capability’, he concludes.

Peter Skarzynski advises large, global organisations on strategy, innovation and organisational change and is recognised as a leading expert in enabling renewal and growth by embedding innovation sustainably in large companies. He is a frequent corporate and conference speaker and a best selling author. Recently published, his “The Innovator’s Field Guide” Wiley, 2014) details market proven methods and approaches to address the most critical innovation challenges facing organisations of any size.

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