We love innovation, and it is one of our core passions to study the makings of great companies and teams who innovate well. Over the years, we have come to see the amazing value that teams have and their crucial role in innovation within an organization. https://www.yellowseed.co.za/post/11-signs-of-greatness-innovative-teams
Having great teams is not enough, though, and we have seen time and time again that there is a specific structure that needs to be created to facilitate innovation within an organization. We also often come across customers where improvement is confused with innovation, so it must be said that innovation does include improvement, but it is also about creating breakaway differentiation. The outside world mostly sees this differentiation from the competition and/or the industry as some revolutionary idea that came about as an overnight breakthrough. The truth, however, is that most overnight innovation breakthroughs are years in the making and come from ideas that have been percolating within these companies.
I might be a good time to dispel one of the biggest myths of innovation that we come across and state clearly that: Ideas are not the problem! If you spend enough time gathering ideas in your organization, then you might end up with more than you can handle. The most difficult part of innovation is the systems you create internally to turn good ideas into great products/services. Our research has concluded that there are 7 barriers to innovation, and not one of them relates to a lack of ideas or creativity.
To read more about the results of this research, go to:
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has a definition of Innovation that we love and addresses a crucial balance in innovative organizations:
Innovation = Invention x Commercialization
A company’s ability to commercialize the ideas/inventions that they come up with seems to be the main differentiator between companies who innovate successfully and those who do not. The term commercialization is, however, extensive and covers a lot of topics and elements of the business.
Over the last two years, we have set out on a journey to properly describe each component of the innovation formula that does not just adhere to modern innovation theory, but that also holds up in practice. The result of our work is the Yellow Seed Innovation Blueprint.
An overview of the model is shown below:
Above: Yellow Seed Innovation Blueprint
The Yellow Seed Innovation Blueprint is made up of 4 crucial elements:
Developing a clear innovation strategy that can stand on its own.
Developing a clear understanding of the crucial outside forces in the market that influence your innovation strategy.
Creating a strong focus on the four pillars that become the core of the company’s innovation capability.
Systematic change and implementation of the business practises that support and reinforce the culture of innovation.
The good news is that innovation is not just reserved for companies in the tech space, and every element of the model can be taught and implemented in a company. We have delved into the neuroscience of innovation and realized that the pathways controlling our ability to innovate could be developed over time. (https://www.yellowseed.co.za/post/neuroscience-of-innovation)
There is thus no magic ingredient that is accessible to a few gifted individuals. Still, there seems to be a clear formula that is particularly relevant in an environment where change is constant.
We love helping companies navigate this process and enjoy sharing the stories of innovation that we have been a part of.