Before you even start
Why should you care before you even see an initial result?
There are some profound considerations to be made BEFORE we even look at first innovation opportunities.
An enterprise with thousands of employees is managed most successfully when repeatable processes are adopted and supported well. Questioning those processes and continuously experimenting with different options would bring the enterprise quickly to its knees. Innovation teams, however, need to question everything and anything and start from scratch – as if nothing exists. An innovation-specific organization structure that can operate independently must be found.
When innovation centers were initially set up, they were a group of people who were tasked to create ideas and build innovative solutions. Little was known about how those ideas get created and how they should be turned into innovative solutions; the team was left in a vacuum. Whatever the outcome was, it was produced, marketed, and sold in the existing organization. But that entire approach failed across the line. Engineering, sales teams, marketer, and production teams, would have to be trained in this radical new solution.
You won’t start an innovation effort with the mindset that it will fail. Instead, your decision to engage in innovation is that you trust it will create an exceptional outcome and make a difference in the market.
Moreover, based on all the discovery from neuroscience, we can assume that a breakthrough innovation is more likely to succeed than fail.
With that in mind, you will ask yourself how the organization could evolve over time. Wait and see is a bad strategy. If you envision it will be a Billion Euro operation that changes the market, you should also envision how it can get there and what would be the most likely roadblocks. You would not have an innovation department if your existing organization could do that in parallel to what they do today. Either the existing organization is badly managed, or the innovation vision does not exist yet.