Project Management

Innovate with Intent

What does innovation mean to your organization? How do you assess ideas and separate the “wow” from the “not now”? Here are three questions that leaders should ask when evaluating which innovative initiatives can generate real value — and which are just noise.

All organizations want to foster innovation. After all, it’s how we grow, improve, delight our customers, and — yes —keep getting paid. In today’s rapidly changing global landscape, our ability to come up with new ideas is what keeps us relevant. Organizations are augmenting their business value proposition on average every three to five years, and we can do that only with a focus on and widespread commitment to the I-word.

Yet, all innovations are not created equal. So, how to separate the “wow” from the “Eh, not now”? This is a question that confounds many leaders, says Patrick Stroh, author of Advancing Innovation: Galvanizing, Enabling & Measuring for Innovation Value! And the answer is to ask more questions.

“When I talk with organizations about innovation, I ask them to define what important innovation means to them,” Stroh says. “It sounds pretty basic, but you’d be amazed at how few people can answer it.”

“The truth is, if you don’t have a measuring stick to evaluate important ideas from so-so ideas or even …

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"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother."

- Albert Einstein