Gaining traction with innovation requires a clear and compelling case for change. A case that overcomes the opportunity cost hurdle for access to time, money, resources and leadership support. A failure to do this well means that many great ideas are left undiscovered and holders of the ideas frustrated that nobody else “gets it”.
In fact, in this dynamic and uncertain environment a good case for change it not sufficient – a great case must be presented.
A great case for innovation requires a narrative that engages the full breadth of stakeholders in a picture of what the future could be. The narrative helps win support for looking at the idea in more detail while presenting the light on the hill for your supporters.
A great case for innovation will obviously contain a robust financial analysis of the expected benefit. However, this analysis needs to be comprehensive and include likely associated costs plus potential downsides in addition to the good news story. A partial analysis will lack credibility and fail to uncover the true impact to the business.
A great case also needs to consider the range of non-financial or non-measurable benefits and costs. Often an innovative idea will look good based on the financial analysis, but it will be the linkages to a broader business strategy or simply the emotion of being seen as a leader in the industry that will make for a great case.
A great case must also consider the various risks that come from the idea itself, the implementation and the potential scenarios from changes in the environment.
There are many techniques available to innovators to deal with the various elements of a great case. The right techniques depend on the type of innovation you are considering, its impact to your business and the stage of innovation between ideation and final implementation.
This is just one topic that Geoff Carter of On Track RDI and I will explore in the Practical Innovation masterclass. The masterclass will be held in Perth and is booked for Thursday 27th October from 12 to 4pm, with networking afterwards.