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!!!!!).