The reason you decided to become innovative is also the main measure by which you will determine how successful the innovation process has been. Your reasons for innovating could be as varied as trying to increase market share, improve processes or increase staff retention, all of which require different innovation strategies and all have different benchmarks.
Innovation is a dynamic process, whether it be incremental, radical or a combination of both. The objective is to achieve your desired outcome. Reflect on your motivation. Innovation can change as you adapt to changes in your environment whether due to resourcing issues, technological changes or economic changes. Your own expectations of what you require out of the innovation process may also change. Therefore you may not have achieved what you initially set out to do, although your motivation for this round of innovation has been fulfilled. There is always the potential to achieve far more than expected.
Innovation requires collaboration and therefore you need to also review whether the motivation for all the stakeholders has been achieved. Their motivations may differ from yours. You may be looking to develop a new product whereas your employees may see this as an opportunity to broaden their skills. Both motivations can be achieved through the innovation process but if one is not achieved then the enthusiasm to continue to innovate diminishes.
Think about where you started, your baseline, and what you have achieved whether it be:
- A two-fold increase in market share
- A reduction in process costs of 10%
- A 30% increase in staff retention
Where is your next motivation for innovation coming from? If it is in the same area then maybe your initial motivation was not properly framed. By simply redefining your desired outcome you may broaden the impact of the innovation. For example, you may have wanted to capture 10% of the market which will make you a market leader, but reframing your motivation to one of being market leader does not place a psychological barrier of 10% thereby allowing the company to move beyond 10% market share.
The motivation for the innovation will drive the innovation process but needs to align with stakeholder motivations and framed in such a way as to not limit the potential of the innovation. Keeping this in mind as you review your motivation will help in preparing you for the next innovation adventure.