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My 5-step system for your innovation

Like all business processes, innovation can be better overseen when you take two steps backward and have another look on wat is actually happening.

Based on fair experience with Research and Development, IBDD has developed the following 5 steps, which help you to make clear where you stand and which actions are the best to do. In any of these steps, you can take advantage of IBDD's experience with e.g. guidance, team coaching or contact with technology cracks in order to move ahead at top speed.
Furthermore, IDBB could draw up the Project Plan for your project as a solid basis for succes, or even take over the project management, so that your specialists'endeavours can focus on the technological content of the project.

The 5 steps are:

1. Dream

Within the framework of an innovation process, dreaming is the draw-up of a business relevant idealized picture of a possibility. Many methods exist to shape such a possibility. A well known one is the brainstorm: gather all ideas coming up in a group session, while not criticizing or judging on any idea yet. An other method is TRIZ, based on ample patent review and the insight that all innovations are in fact expressions of a limited number of principles.

2. Land

Most organisations develop more than enough ideas for improevements The biggest challenge is, however, to turn this rich input of the realm of possibilities into unique services and products that fulfill an unmet need, and this with limited resources. So, it is inevitable that we categorise ideas. Is it possible to quantify the potential financial value versus the costs? Also, the well-knwon model of the SWOT (=Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) -analysis can be applied to innovative concepts. The goal is to select the project that gives the best chances to return and multiply your investment.

3. Vibrate

“Vibrating” is the description for a process of finding knowledge, talking with all parties you can imagine: exchanging ideas, linking to people with your goals open on the table and understanding for the "agenda" of the other party. This all in order to achieve a common interest in an innovation project, preferably with shared costs and minimised risks.
Actively vibrating can make the difference between a nice idea and a realised, profitable business. We all have this idea of geniuses working alone in their lab or cellar, developing brillant things that others could never have imagined. Forget that picture! Bringing a modern, complex product to market is a team achievement based on cooperation between expertises as diverse as hardcore technology and marketing. Contact with specialists outside of the safe but predictable haven of your company is THE chance to come to something new that is more than the sum of the possibilities of today.

4. Plan

If the phase of dreaming, landing and vibrating is finished, one more landing is needed in order to ensure that the chosen idea is realistic and relevant. Now, whe are in the realm of Project Management.  Methods like Prince2® and (Dutch) 'Projectmatig creëren' offer means to set-up projects and bringing them to success. The British Prince2® method has become a standard in industry and public services. The method gives an exhausting description of the elements to be included in a project plan. A good start of a project with such a plan is half of the work

5. Do

“Do” is a word of one sullable, that still implies a world of aspects. Of course, not all can be told here. A crucial aspect is to monitor what is being done: planning and reporting actions, review periodically and keep an eye if the dream ever dreamt is still living and viable. In terms of  Prince2® : a constant attention for the business case of a project is key to success.

Academic minds may not always be exulting when thinking of laying bricks on their freedom to move by keeping them to deliverables and timelines. There, they have a point. It is important not to manage enthousiasm! Don't enforce a full activity schedule on Kermit and his friends: give the team freedom to go after some "wild" ideas on friday afternoon, or to come up with suggestions for additional features on the dream that was never dreamt of by others.

Want to know more? order the inspiring E-book "Een kleine gids voor grote ideeën" ("A Small Guide for Big Ideas", unfortunately only available in Dutch yet) on the homepage. It is yours if you subscribe to IBDD's monthly newsletter with readable, inspiring and directly usable tips on project management and team spirit. 

Free E-book On Innovation

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