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Category: Innovation Engineering (Innovate)

Innovating without a system? Stop right there.

Posted by on March 13, 2015 8:30 am
Stop Signs - Business Strategy - Business Strategy Execution - Innovation Engineering - Winnipeg MB Canada

I want to share a story about an organization that decided it needed to innovate. The team appointed to the project entered the process with energy and good intentions. The result was not what they imagined…

The product the organization directed the team to work on was an ‘innovation’ in its eyes; not necessarily a new product that had never been imagined, but rather an add-on to an existing product that could boost sales and add value in the eyes of the consumer. Internally, this idea was exciting! It didn’t seem like the competition was going down the same path. Life was good.

Stop Signs - Business Strategy - Business Strategy Execution - Innovation Engineering - Winnipeg MB CanadaReality was a different story. The project lasted two full years as unexpected roadblocks slowed the team, and when the product was finally rolled out to market, it was met with quiet acceptance and a small boost in sales. The team, and the organization as a whole, felt deflated; they didn’t want to try this ‘innovation thing’ again.
Looking back, the project owner said they didn’t really know if the product they had worked so hard on had a large market potential to start with. They didn’t actually look into how big an impact the product would have. When the idea was conceived, it was an innovation; by the time it was developed, it was an afterthought. When it came to market, the idea was received as merely an improvement and lacked the impact the team had dreamed it would have.

When it was all said and done, it cost the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages and development costs for a product that had a minor impact on sales and was essentially a ‘me too’ product. To add insult to injury, the organization had been so focused on this one innovation they didn’t have anything else in the pipeline. They gambled, and it cost them.

This story – and there are many like it – is saddening. The team was positive, energetic and did everything they could to make this work. In my opinion, the main reason it didn’t work was because they didn’t have a system to plan their path forward; there was no process to “reality check” their innovation. This is not the way to innovate. Innovating without a system and a process is tiring for the organization and drains company resources.

It doesn’t matter what kind of organization you’re part of or even what kind of industry you operate in. Any company who wants to innovate, and innovate for results, needs a system that forces the assessment and understanding of what it is you hope to accomplish. Specific milestones must be set and adhered to, and radical clarity must be reached before you even start to innovate. If you don’t have a system to test and prove out your ideas, you’re running blind.

Back to the team in the story. They heard about Innovation Engineering (IE) not long ago and decided to take another run at creating a new product. This time around, we came alongside them and educated them on the IE approach. They were able to create a true innovation by leveraging the tools and methods within IE. Just as vital as having a good idea, the system forced them to validate the market impact this innovation would have by using IE tools. They gained clarity and a solid understanding of what they had to do to get this innovation to see the light of day before they went full force into development. Instead of taking a couple frustrating years, they have been able to bring a new innovation to market in under seven months. The team, and the organization, has renewed confidence in their ability to innovate.

Do you believe all innovation systems are slow? I challenge you to learn more about Innovation Engineering and how it could increase the speed of innovation in your organization.

I want to share a story about an organization that decided it needed to innovate. The team appointed to the project entered the process with energy and good intentions. The result was not what they imagined…

The product the organization directed the team to work on was an ‘innovation’ in its eyes; not necessarily a new product that had never been imagined, but rather an add-on to an existing product that could boost sales and add value in the eyes of the consumer. Internally, this idea was exciting! It didn’t seem like the competition was going down the same path. Life was good.

Reality was a different story. The project lasted two full years as unexpected roadblocks slowed the team, and when the product was finally rolled out to market, it was met with quiet acceptance and a small boost in sales. The team, and the organization as a whole, felt deflated; they didn’t want to try this ‘innovation thing’ again.

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Why I I.E.

Posted by on February 13, 2015 8:30 am
Chalkboard - Business Strategy - Business Strategy Execution - Innovation Engineering - Winnipeg MB Canada

Why do I believe that Innovation Engineering is a vital process for any organization who is looking to grow? Why do I “I.E”? It’s a journey that I’ve been on for the past few years, and it’s influenced me more than I could have imagined. That is due, in part, to the experiences I had before I was introduced to Innovation Engineering.

Chalkboard - Business Strategy - Business Strategy Execution - Innovation Engineering - Winnipeg MB CanadaWhat is I.E.?

Innovation Engineering (I.E.) is a methodology that enables everyone, everyday, to innovate.

It has a robust history of success and an in-depth training program that teaches employees to understand how to innovate on an ongoing basis. Overall, it decreases the risk of innovation as it increases the speed of innovating — and it does it again and again. It is a repeatable system that enables organizations to restart their business life cycle with new markets, products and services. In a word, Innovation Engineering is growth.

Why is I.E. important to me?

In the years before I joined inVision, I worked in several manufacturing positions. I was on the floor, in production, and I worked my way up to become a leader. I know what it’s like to be on a growing team, as well as a team that is trying to find ways to cut costs and hold on to a diminishing market. The latter is not a great place to be. It can drain you of energy, hinder growth, and paralyze everyone involved. Unless the organization finds way to engage new customers or enter new markets, cost cutting only ends when the organization cuts enough to simply survive. This is why Innovation Engineering is important to me — because just surviving is not enough.

When a team is involved in an Innovation Engineering Wave, it is a growth experience. Team members realize they can have effect on the organization’s growth by providing their thoughts, talents, and ideas. The more stable the culture, the more innovation emerges.

So here’s a question: do you want to simply survive? Or find ways to help your team thrive?

To learn more about Innovation Engineering, visit our Innovate page. If you’d like to chat about how Innovation Engineering could impact you and your team, reach out.

Why do I believe that Innovation Engineering is a vital process for any organization who is looking to grow? Why do I “I.E”? It’s a journey that I’ve been on for the past few years, and it’s influenced me more than I could have imagined. That is due, in part, to the experiences I had before I was introduced to Innovation Engineering.

What is I.E.?

Innovation Engineering (I.E.) is a methodology that enables everyone, everyday, to innovate.

Read More
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