The critical attribute of Innovative Organizations is not Innovation…

Ok… so the title of the post is deliberately inflammatory. But now that I’ve got your attention.

Innovation (the act) does not make a successful innovative organization.

The truth is there are more innovations that never see the light of day or that die an early death – or stagnate without investment – for one simple reason:

The failure to be able to recognize the innovations that you keep and the ones you should kill – and the guts to act decisively on that information.

It is that skill, that practice, that operating mechanism that separates successful innovative organizations and organizations that innovate a lot without seeing tangible results.

Innovation is about passion but successful innovative organizations must be dis-passionate in their evaluation of their innovative endeavors. The best way to do that is to use data and real customer feedback to evaluate the value – monetized value of the innovation in the market place. Failure to do so will result in two things:

1) Missed opportunities.

2) Failed products.

One important point, however, is that we must recognize the difference between conjecture and data. Conjecture is what you get when you sit around a conference room table and debate the viability of an innovation. Data is what you get when you prototype/wire frame/storyboard the innovation and ask potential customers for feedback.

Once you are able to accept these two fundamentals:

1) Successful innovation is the result of understanding which innovations to invest in, and which to kill – and the guts to act decisively on that information.

2) The data by which you evaluate the innovation can only be generated by the market (user input).

You will have a shot at creating a innovative organization (or company). Now you just have to execute (like that is easy!!!!!).

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