Promoting innovation within a company can be extremely difficult.
The key is to create, identify and/or exploit market changes so your company can continuously progress and improve its offering.
Most innovation programs live or die by their leadership, which is why many companies have hired forward-thinking executives for the relatively new position.
Heads of Innovation are expected to bring an outside perspective that can help businesses refine their innovation approach, while simultaneously spotting new trends and market shifts.
Here are the five technologies innovation managers need to effectively manage and execute the organization, communication and collaboration required on the job.
Slack to Get People Talking
No matter what the structure of your innovation team, communication is key.
Easy-to-use team communication tools like Slack provide an organized interface for messaging and conversation that bypasses messy email chains and texts.
Slack allows you to create a one-stop-shop for collaboration and productivity by organizing your online conversations by group or topic, sending resources, creating shared docs, and more.
Slack integrates with many other services, allowing you to carry out actions with several of your tools from within the Slack platform. And that brings us to our next essential tool for Heads of Innovation.
Trello to Track Progress
By the job’s very nature, a Head of Innovation must keep several plates spinning at once.
Leading innovation efforts in a company requires mapping out a strategy, aligning with corporate business objectives and understanding technological goals and capabilities.
An easy-to-use project management tool like Trello is key to keeping innovation initiatives and related projects organized, from staying up-to-date on where each project stands to understanding how they relate to one another.
Calendly to Control Your Time
Heads of Innovation don’t have a lot of free time. Tracking your time as you bounce from meeting to meeting can become overwhelming, or at the very least confusing.
Also, trying to schedule team meetings or vendor calls through endless email chains that bounce back and forth can grind everything to a halt.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Calendly is a powerful cloud-based scheduling tool that allows gives you agency over your time.
You pick your available times, and then you put the decision-making into your contacts’ hands. They choose one of your available times, and it is automatically added to your calendar.
Ludus to Sell Your Vision
Innovation can be a hard sell. Many times, it requires a level of risk that could make the higher-ups more than a little nervous.
So, what do you do? You sell the heck out of it: how it will improve the company’s standing, how it will increase sales, how it will break new markets open, etc.
When you need to give a good show, a presentation tool that allows you to easily make your most creative ideas come to fruition can make all the difference.
Ludus takes presentation slides and gives you the freedom to let your imagination carry you. You can insert 3D files, code, images, video and pretty much anything under the sun.
Ludus files are also easy to share. Each presentation has a unique link, and anyone with that link will be able to view the presentation. No need to worry about download times due to size or compatible software.
prooV to Manage Your Proof-of-Concept Process
No matter what type of innovation you are focusing on — incremental, transformational or adjacent — collaborating with external vendors that bring their existing solutions and expertise is the most effective and efficient way to go about it.
Running proof-of-concepts (PoCs) to test and evaluate technologies is a core part of innovating with external partners.
A PoC platform like prooV simplifies, streamlines and centralizes the entire proof-of-concept process so you can discover, test and evaluate technologies all in one place.
Building Your Toolbox
Every innovation program needs a leader to champion new initiatives, bring the relevant business units together and optimize the process to make sure it all gets done in the most effective way.
The tools in this article will help you drive innovation forward, maximize successes and cement the value of innovation in the company.