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Unfolding the innovation DNA: Passion

Our previous blogpost discussed the first tier of the innovation model, Friction – the unmet need that inspires innovators to explore and shape the solution space. The driving force behind these individuals is Passion! Successful innovators are characterized by this drive and endurance to take an insight forward. Their aim is to turn it into an idea and subsequently a concept. So here’s how surgically infusing passion into your process can bolster your proposition:

Involve the right people

Being passionate about your idea boils down to carefully curating your innovation assets. Innovators should hold on tight to their insights, ideas and concepts, rather than pass them around without any sense of ownership. Yet in many organizations, innovation comes with some sort of protectionism; the process happens internally without the involvement of external stakeholders or consumers.

But as Stiven Kerestegian, former Design Lead at Lego, pointed out: 99.9% of the smartest people don’t work for your organization. Not only is that true for all the companies in the world, it’s also a major understatement. Organizations can benefit from an outside-in perspective. They involve passionate stakeholders (including potential consumers) from beyond their boardroom to co-create ideas and concepts.

According to Forrester, if you look at 100 random people on the planet, 90 will be spectators. They can voice their opinion, and say what they like or dislike about a concept. But they can’t really assist you in creating or curating concepts. Then there are the 9 who can curate content, i.e. take the right decision, optimize and prioritize, etc. (that’s you and/or your agencies that make the decisions to help curate the funnel). And then there is the one percent that is actually able to create.

 

Meet the 90, the 9 and the 1

 

For innovation and ideation challenges, involving the intelligent naivety of creative minds to get this outside-in perspective is beneficial. We tap into our eÿeka crowdsourcing network to generate out-of-the-box ideas and solutions. eÿeka is a unique skilled creative global community with a proven track record of elevating quality and quantity of the innovation funnel’s output.

Step up the tempo

In many organizations, even with the best intentions, the innovation process is comparable to a (very long) relay race. The insight, idea or concept gets passed around (like a baton). But people let go as soon as it is handed over, absolving themselves of the responsibility. This is where we typically observe a long, fuzzy front end – the phase of generating insights, iterating concepts. At the end is what we can describe as validation overdrive, traffic-light syndrome, benchmark fever. That’s where all this needs to be validated before it can move on to the next phase.

To speed up the process, we believe that an iterative approach is key, alternating exploration and validation. Validation is important, we need those timely checks; yet these should start early on the innovation process, starting with insights. Evaluating and validating from the beginning positively impacts the quantity and quality of concepts, this in a much shorter time period. This is one of the advantages of using a Consumer Consulting Square. Because of its advanced hybrid capability, it seamlessly infuses validation and optimization in every iteration.
We have worked on several projects where we installed this ‘pressure-cooker’ approach to innovation. It means working with short cycles of generating ideas and running overnight idea screeners. The final step is to turn these validated ideas into concepts in a workshop involving all relevant stakeholders.

The analysis of a multitude of successful start-up innovations has allowed to identify Passion as one of the critical success factors. Infusing passion into your innovation process ultimately boils down to carefully curating your innovation assets. The approach is iterative, where you involve the right stakeholders.

Eager for more? Get your download of our Innovation Envy bookzine and discover more insights on what established innovators can learn from successful disruptors

Innovation Envy bookzine cover

Innovation Envy

Unfolding the DNA of successful disruptors. What can established innovators learn from these successful disruptors? How do you increase the speed and quality of innovation internally? How can your organization embed the disruption DNA in your innovation process and research?

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