Project-Managing Innovation: The Required Key Ingredients

Colin Lough is a program and change management consultant in Silicon Valley—the heart of innovation and the world’s leading technology companies. He has 14 years of experience working on leading initiatives within financial services, energy and high-tech sectors. His advisory experience covers program and project delivery excellence, change management, portfolio optimization and IT transformation for leading multinational organizations.

Innovation. We all have seen the biggest, most successful companies talk about it and share their success stories. We have read about it in the latest business journals and magazines. We all want it in our organization, but the right recipe with the right ingredients is often elusive. In this article, we will share some views and discuss how to project-manage innovation in addition to the key ingredients required to create, execute, and innovate in your organization.

Innovation presents one of the greatest challenges facing many organizations today. As business leaders, we must ultimately deliver business benefits. To this end, we ask the question: “How do we support innovation strategy in a way that best sets our organization up for success and growth?” According to an article in Harvard Business Review, 84 percent of global executives believe innovation is “extremely important,” but only 6 percent are satisfied with their innovation performance (Newtown, 2015).

Establishing high-performing innovation capabilities requires the understanding of key enablers and the ability to tackle common pitfalls. But first, we must look at what innovation really is. By formal definition, innovation is expressed as “the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods” (Merriam Webster, n.d.).

Innovation is not a…

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