The worry of many innovation teams is that their value to the company will be questioned and eventually deemed unjustifiable.
With something as difficult to quantify as innovation, feelings of uncertainty and the need to prove your worth ultimately arise.
This is especially true if they are feeling pressure from the company’s decision-makers.
In this article, we take a look at how innovation teams should organize their priorities, and how those priorities will eventually drive their value within a company.
Define Your Expectations
Having a clear picture of what executives in your company are looking for in an innovation team can focus your priorities and help clarify your team’s ultimate vision. In other words, figure out the main goal of the innovation team and put that at the top of your priority list.
If your management team believes wholeheartedly in innovation, and they understand that business value comes in many forms, then they should mainly be concerned with your team working toward clear outcomes and formulating need-based questions.
With that said, most companies are unwilling to give innovation teams carte blanche.
Resources are limited, and knowing your company’s benchmarks for innovation success is especially important to know so that you can plan according to their expectations.
Know That Failure Is An Option
Big companies by nature have a hard time innovating. The wheels are already in motion, and the inertia of complacency and incremental improvement can make it hard to shift courses for meaningful change.
This is precisely when generating revenue should be the least of an innovation team’s concerns.
When getting started, innovation teams should worry about shedding the old costly ways of doing business in favor of drastically overhauling the status quo to promote longevity. This means a lot of trial and error, and a lot of failure, but that failure will eventually translate into actionable innovation that will clearly prove your innovation team’s value
Realize your True Value
So yes, an innovation team should worry about being viable and creating change within the company. That change should represent tangible value additions that can create new sources of revenue or cut waste.
An innovation team that isn’t producing anything of value over time, or at least working on a project that has great potential to produce value in the future, is a team that doesn’t have a clear set of goals, and that can be a problem.
With that said, the team’s driving force should never be money — it should be ideas. And those ideas should aim to improve some aspect of the company or customer experience.