Creating An Innovation-Intelligence Ecosystem

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on November 6, 2009

Most companies have an innovation community of master and everyday innovators. Normally, 10% to 20% of innovation workers are master innovators, who focus on driving disruptive innovation and strategic innovation initiatives that range from designing new products to identifying new markets.

Between 70% to 80% of employees are everyday innovators, who work on smaller innovation tasks that range from solving problems for customers and resolving field situations to researching competitor landscapes and ways to reuse existing technology. They could be members of new business development, strategic planning, and competitive analysis teams.

Collectively, both master and everyday innovators are responsible for maintaining a company’s innovation edge. This community must have access to critical knowledge to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Consider the following tips on setting up a framework to make sure they do.

1. Precise intelligence is the heart of innovation. Every company should design a framework for delivering precise and critical information from a variety of sources that lead to increased productivity. Knowledge can come from internal legacy product designs, best practices, and customer usage, as well as from external sources such as competitive intelligence, technology trends, and scientific theories. Precise innovation intelligence can validate concepts upfront and help innovators deliver the right products the first time, as well as solve everyday problems faster.

2. Drive revenue with an innovation-intelligence framework. By creating an effective information-sharing framework, a company can increase productivity by 30%. They can also cut development costs significantly, drive and sustain a continuous innovation process, repeatedly design cutting-edge products, and increase growth, revenue, and market share.

Mark Atkins
CEO and Chairman
Invention Machine
Boston

Reader Comments

Gene Korienek

November 19, 2009 9:48 AM

I enjoyed reading your post; however it seems to me that that the process is going un-specified, un-discussed, and un-used. Marvin Minskey has been credited with the quote: "In the Knoweldge lies the Power". While Minskey was talking about knowledge based decision making systems, once called called "Expert System" the semantics of the quote bring forward the notion and need of knowledge and skill in the Innovation process.

In my experiences as a consultant and teacher to the Fortune 100 I have learned to respect expertise. It is important to get the "Innovation" out of people's minds and onto the metaphorical table.

I suggest, in addition to the information shared in this post, a focus on raising the Innovation Expertise within any given organization. I think education and practice, practice, practice is an important element.

Margaret Manson

December 10, 2009 5:04 PM

Mark, great post. Very important message to business leaders on how to manage innovation culture from bird's eye view.

I understood that the Knolwedge Sharing system would include external feeds. I see it like the heart being connected to the rest of the universe of the body: it takes nourishment from outside, uses internal organs to process and then feeds rich blood to other internal organs to do the rest - it makes it all tick.

Problems occur when one other organ is not doing their job. I too in my work as innovation Chief Inspirator, would like more business leaders to understand the importance of this ecosystem.

In this I totally agree with Gene's comment that education is the key.

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