There are Innovation Management Process that enhance problem identification and idea generation and, similarly, distinct processes that enhance idea selection, development and commercialization. Whilst there is no sure fire route to commercial success, these processes improve the probability that good ideas will be generated and selected and that investment in developing and commercializing those ideas will not be wasted.
Innovation or Profit?
Often the mission statement of an Innovation Management Systems includes a nebulous goal to innovate, but the real goal is to make a profit:
a) Most innovations do not lead to profit.
b) Yes, you must always be flexible enough to innovate, but that requires a whole new set of strategies, competencies, resources, processes and networks. Only successful innovations will make this profitable.
c) Most successful innovations are incremental, not radical: moderately new to market, based on tried and tested technology, saved money, met customer needs and supported existing behaviors (Franklin, 2003). Most Innovation Management Process is simply the result of identifying and solving problems and most leaps are the result of cumulative periods of consecutive problem solving.
d) Most successful innovations take time to bear fruit - at least a few years, too long for impact in the annual accounts.
Conventional (i.e., not innovative) thinking would have us believe you cannot plan for a brilliant idea or for scientific breakthrough. ..Such breakthroughs only occur randomly and without warning. While this may be true for some scientific advances, it is not true for innovation: you plan for innovation by growing the right culture--and creating and supporting the conditions for that culture to thrive--to make innovation happen.
When you look at successful companies--consider Apple, or 3M, or Facebook--it is tempting to think that one brilliant idea catapulted them to success. The reality is often much different. Innovation like many other business strategies is more frequently the result of a robust process developed within an organizational culture of Innovation Management Software?
Innovation Management Systems are much greater than generating ideas or taking risks. Reframed as a business strategy, it becomes much easier to approach innovation as something that requires planning, cultivation, implementation, and management in order to succeed.
By planning, cultivating, implementing, and managing a process to support innovation, managers make creativity and discovery repeatable--even predictable. While the most winning and actionable ideas may always retain a bit of that "where did that come from!?" personality, innovation-driven teams know that these "serendipity-like" surprises are nothing short of strategically planned innovation management software at work; supported by management and engaged in by all.