These principles were developed to capture the essential elements of effective innovation management. They can be used as an introduction to understanding the innovation management system or as a tool for assessing an organisation’s innovation management capabilities. In either case, they provide a valuable framework for optimising innovation within an organisation.
So whether you’re just starting innovation management or looking to take your organisation’s capabilities to the next level, innovation management principles are a valuable resource.
Realisation of value
The first principle of innovation management is realising value.
This means you need to deploy, adopt, and make an impact with new solutions for interested parties. Value can be financial or non-financial. For example, you might create a new product that saves people time and money. Or you might develop a new service that makes people’s lives easier.
Either way, you need to ensure that your solution is adopted and used by the people who will benefit from it. Only then can you realise the value of your innovation.
Future-focused leaders are always looking ahead to identify opportunities and challenges.
They articulate a clear and inspiring vision for the future and engage people to achieve it. They are curious and courageously challenge the status quo. They create an environment where people feel safe to experiment, take risks, and learn from failures.
And they continuously adapt their plans based on feedback and new insights. As a result, future-focused leaders build agile, resilient, and adaptable organisations that constantly innovate to remain competitive.
Most people can think of a time when they were part of a team working on a project without clear direction.
Maybe everyone had their ideas about the project, or no one knew what the end goal was. Either way, it’s not an effective way to work and usually leads to frustration and wasted time.
On the other hand, a team that has a shared sense of purpose and direction is much more likely to be successful. That’s why it’s so crucial for companies to have a clear strategic direction for their innovation activities.
Without it, there will be little alignment and cooperation among employees, and it won’t be easy to use resources effectively. But with a solid strategic direction, companies can ensure that their innovation efforts are focused and impactful.
Culture is often seen as the personality of an organisation.
The shared values, beliefs and behaviours make up the way things are done around here. And just like with people, a healthy culture supports openness to change, risk-taking and collaboration. A culture that values innovation will find ways to encourage new ideas and initiatives even as it effectively executes its existing commitments.
In other words, a good culture enables both creativity and effective execution to coexist. That’s why culture is one of the fundamental principles of innovation management. By paying attention to culture, organisations can create an environment that fosters individual creativity and collective success.
The fifth innovation management principle is to exploit insights.
This means systematically building insightful knowledge from diverse internal and external sources to exploit stated and unstated needs. In other words, you need to be constantly on the lookout for new ideas and find ways to turn those ideas into reality.
To do this effectively, you must understand your organisation well and the broader world around you. Only by continually gathering and analysing information will you be able to identify new opportunities and turn them into successful innovations.
Every business faces uncertainties and risks. However, managing these uncertainties and risks can mean the difference between success and failure.
The sixth principle of innovation management is to manage uncertainty by learning from systematic experimentation and iterative processes within a portfolio of opportunities. This means that you should constantly test and experiment to learn what works and what doesn’t.
And you should have a diversified portfolio of opportunities so that if one area fails, you have other areas to fall back on. By following this principle, you can increase your chances of success and avoid costly mistakes.
To be successful, organisations need to be able to adapt to changes in their context.
This may include market, technology, or competitive landscape changes. By adapting quickly, organisations can maximise their innovation capabilities and remain agile in the face of change. However, the speed of adaptation is often determined by the organisation’s structure, processes, and competencies.
Therefore, organisations need to have the right mix of these elements to be successful. With the right blend of adaptability and innovation, organisations can continue to thrive in an ever-changing world.
The systems approach is all about understanding how different system elements work together and how we might improve them.
In the context of innovation management, this means understanding how different parts of the organisation contribute to the innovation process and how we might better integrate them. It also means regular performance evaluation and improvement of the innovation system as a whole.
By understanding and continuously improving the innovation system, organisations can maximise their chances of success.
The innovation management principles are set out in ISO 56000:2020 Innovation management – Fundamentals and vocabulary.
This standard also includes the terms and definitions used in innovation management and the characteristics of an innovative organisation. The principles are intended to help organisations of all sizes to develop and implement an innovation management system. They can be used by organisations just starting on their innovation journey and those with an established Innovation Management System.
The principles are based on the concept of “value creation through innovation”, providing a framework for managing the risk, resources and opportunities associated with innovation projects. By following these principles, organisations can increase their chances of success while at the same time reducing the likelihood of failure.