We at futurethink have just wrapped up the publication of our latest white paper, “Ready, Fire! Aim? Why a fear of commitment is killing innovation.” It’s the third installment of our annual 'Innovation Tracker,' which examines the results of our 20-question online innovation diagnostic from innovators across a variety of organizations. (Download the report here)
What did we find this year? Simply put, many organizations -- including packagers and their suppliers -- are approaching innovation efforts without first taking the time to lay down the proper foundation. They’re blindly engaging in innovation activities such as idea-generation and culture-building while avoiding discussions around innovation strategy and processes. The problems with this are many.
Innovation efforts that lack a strategic foundation are bound to fizzle out and die. Without agreement around what innovation means or how it should be measured and tracked, employees are forced to “innovate” with little direction and unclear goals. And without a robust process in place, ideas tend to go nowhere. Employees participate in idea-generation sessions, but enthusiasm fades when they realize that nothing is being done with ideas because leadership doesn’t have the right tools in place to support the effort.
Given the delicate nature of the current economic crisis, most packagers and suppliers simply cannot afford to approach innovation in such a haphazard manner. Innovation today is more important than ever -- and the companies that understand this will set themselves up for the biggest successes when balance is eventually restored in the global financial markets. So we urge you to take a step back and carefully examine the state of innovation in your organization. Take off the blindfold, and build a foundation that can support a lasting and sustainable innovation program.
futurethink is a leading innovation research and consulting firm, offering the world’s largest catalog of innovation research and tools, along with consulting and training services.