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Striving for Successful Innovation

The Road To Progress

Some innovation experts point to the fact that key to the innovation process is the road to progress. “As an innovator, then, your job is to reframe the product/service-creation process as understanding the progress people want to make and then helping them do that in a more effective, differentiated way than what’s already out there,” writes David Schonthal, Clinical Professor of Strategy, Director of Entrepreneurship, in his article, “What’s the Secret to Successful Innovation?” from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Progress, notes Schonthal, can come in the dimensions of functional, social or emotional aspects. Schonthal further points out that these values enhance the innovation creation process: The functional dimension is about getting something done faster or better. The social component is how a given product makes us appear to others, such as specific brands. The emotional dimension is about how a given purchase makes us feel about ourselves.

By focusing on these functional, social or emotional aspects, and understanding the core beliefs behind the innovation in the first place, it will enhance the innovation creation experience—and contribute to the success of the project. Schonthal further notes, “The secret of successful innovation is focusing more on the progress people seek to achieve than on the product that gets them there. Customers can’t always tell you what they want, but they can most certainly tell you what they are hoping to accomplish.”

Setting Objectives

According to ChatGPT, there are several goals that an innovator, and the entire team, can strive for in their endeavors for their company.

  1. Define Your Goals: Start by clearly defining your innovation goals and objectives, including the desired outcome you’re trying to achieve.
  2. Develop a Strategy: Create an innovation strategy that outlines how you plan to develop, evaluate, and implement ideas to reach your goals.
  3. Establish Processes: Establish processes for idea generation, evaluation of those ideas, implementation of successful ones, and measurement of results so that you can track progress towards your goal over time.
  4. Foster Collaboration: Encourage collaboration among team members throughout the entire process— from ideation through implementation— to ensure everyone’s input is heard and their expertise tapped into as needed.
  5. Embrace Experimentation & Risk-Taking: Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas or take risks in order to push boundaries and come up with more creative solutions for problems at hand; failure often leads to success.
  6. Monitor Progress & Adapt Accordingly: Regularly monitor progress against established metrics so that any necessary adjustments can be made along the way if something isn’t working as expected or there are unexpected obstacles in the path ahead.

Panel: Secrets of Successful Innovation

Innovators will often fail at their innovation attempts but let’s hear stories from successful innovators and hear their lessons learned on what does it take to be a successful innovator. Plus, what metrics do they use when creating or selecting a successful innovation? What are some of your key indicators for successful innovation? What are some of the examples you can share when the success was accelerated?

For this panel discussion at FEI 2023, “Secrets of Successful Innovation,” join Bridgette Wolf, CMO, My Mochi; Tulani Soffin, R&D Director Principal Scientist, Venus/Joy Franchise Products Research, P&G; Cory Sorice, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Masonite International Corporation; and Katie Skibinski, Chief Innovation Officer, Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Contributor

  • Matt Kramer

    Matthew Kramer is the Digital Editor for All Things Insights & All Things Innovation. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and media companies, on a variety of business-to-business publications, websites and trade shows.

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