As the world begins to come out of the throws of the COVID-19 pandemic, innovating efficiently and effectively is vital. Organizations have spent the last three months rolling out new solutions faster than ever. As such, many of these organizations are now looking for information and support in successfully evaluating, managing, and leveraging their new innovation initiatives. Others are still working to get innovation started and need some input on what to do first. Fortunately, there is an incredible depth of information about innovating successfully on social media and in the news. Unfortunately, with so much information available, it can be challenging to know where and how to begin.

EdgeDweller has been tracking innovation trends, tools, and approaches for over 10 years and has ramped up these efforts in the past few months. Now, we want to share our input on positive innovation moves you can be making for longer-lasting performance. Below is a list of the 5 innovation fundamentals that you need to know and a few of our favorite articles that will get you up to speed quickly.

1. Use Innovation to convert disaster to opportunity – For success beyond the crisis, turn short-term pivots into longer-term plays

Disaster impacts the speed of change, and COVID-19 has proven to us how quickly the world can change. Focus on recovery must quickly shift to focus on long term innovation and value creation. Organizations that maintained focus on innovation and long-term strategy recovered faster and stronger from the 2009 financial crisis across the board.

Source – McKinsey Article “Innovation In a Crisis…”

*If you need help getting started, take a look at this article we recently published on the three new emerging trends that EdgeDweller is using to generate solutions with opportunities for above-average performance and longevity

2. Business and innovation strategy should run parallel to one another – Aligning these while maintaining their distinction is critical

Innovation and business strategy are not the same thing. Innovation is one component of business strategy. In order to be successful, organizations must avoid viewing innovation as a series of one-off projects or grab bag of “best practices”. Instead, they must make sure their innovation approach aligns with long term strategic goals and keeps a primary focus on driving value and growth. This is an excellent way to start using innovation to intentionally evolve and transform a business

Source – HBR Article “You Need an Innovation Strategy”

3. Innovation intensity and expertise are more effective than a huge budget – Successful innovators maximize ROI with optimized systems and teams

Organizations that are the most successful in innovation are not the ones that spend the most dollars or the highest percentage of their budget on innovation. The companies that are most successful have resilient staff and processes that get the job done better, faster, and with fewer resources. Bottom line – Successful innovators spend smaller budgets and get bigger results

Source – PWC Innovation Benchmark Report

4. Execution is the name of the game –Prepare early to triple implementation rates

Innovation means nothing if the ideas generated are not implemented. Successful innovation begins with clear success metrics and leadership buy-in. By defining what success is before generating ideas, organizations can expect to see implementation rates triple. This is one of the most common stumbling blocks in innovation and also the easiest to avoid.

Source – EdgeDweller Implementation Data

5. Co-creation and silo-busting is vital – Outside expertise is a powerful tool when used correctly

Industry experts often have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees. By bringing in talent from different business units and outside of their organization (clients, users, open innovation), organizations often become aware of new markets, better models, and bigger opportunities they would previously not have imagined. They generate higher performing solutions as a result.

Source – PwC Evolving Operating Models

Source – UC Berkeley MBA Blog