August 19, 2021

Rethinking the Innovation Framework

Innovation is becoming increasingly essential to companies. Developing improved products, optimizing internal processes, and providing better services to the market with higher efficiency improve profit and competitiveness. Growing stale is not an option in a fast-moving world. However, innovation management is ineffective in too many businesses. In SEAC’s monthly webinar, Dr. Magnus Karlsen, adjunct professor for innovation management at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and senior advisor at Amplify shared why innovation management needs to improve with the help of the ISO56002 standard.

Half-hearted solutions 

 84% of global executives think innovation is essential. 94% are dissatisfied with the innovation performance within their companies. Furthermore, the top 1000 companies that spend the most on research and development have reported no correlation with their investment and growth. How can this be? This disconnect within these survey results is the product of unrealistic expectations.  Underestimating how much effort innovation requires is the second biggest cause.

Another problem is the inconsistent nature of innovation attempts. The process happens all too often in waves, starting with a push from top management to innovate. Measures like internal venturing, idea competitions, or hackathons take place as fragmented efforts. Delayed results mean management, all but forget previous innovation ambitions when they do arrive. The process is repeated when the need for something new occurs again but mostly ends the same way with no effort made to implement the innovation process as a natural and sustainable part of the organization structure.

Embracing risk

To understand what ISO56002 is, one must look no further than the principles of the innovation management system. Your innovation management system is comprised of numerous elements. These include realizing value, exploiting insights, and one of the more interesting aspects: managing uncertainty. Risk is traditionally an undesirable factor for any organization, yet as a core principle of ISO56002, exploring uncharted territory is inevitably a learning experience. Exploration may result in invaluable insights on customer needs or the feasibility of certain technologies for your company. Without trial and error, there is no innovation.

Consistency principles

Businesses with highly aligned innovation strategies & cultures that support innovation outperform their peers. They boast an extra 17% market growth, and 30% in value growth according to “Booz & Company”. However, leadership must commit to 3 crucial areas to achieve this level of success: strategy, people, and system. 

Establishing focused innovation strategies and allocating resources at the start to make sustainable change in innovation management happen. The point is to enforce the pursuit of the set goals. Moreover, management levels must act as role models in nourishing a culture of creativity. Encourage debate, curiosity, and ideation, as the foundations of innovation. Deploy accountability systems to achieve and measure intended outcomes. 

Benefits 56002

The goal of ISO56002 is not to directly standardize innovation but rather standardize the process by removing barriers and providing a checklist on how to enable innovation. Dr. Karlsen mentioned five core systematic innovation mechanisms: identifying an opportunity, creating concepts, validating concepts, developing a solution, and deploying the solution. 

The implementation may require radical reorganization to remove mentioned barriers, but they are worth it. Implementation puts a framework applicable for both private and public businesses to understand and serve the customer better is put in place. Adaptability and reconfigurability are part of this process. This systematic approach was developed by ISO in collaboration with organizations from 50 countries to streamline innovation, and identify aspects never considered before. The nature of this international collaboration is worth highlighting as it speaks to its applicability as a common structure.

A sustainable process for innovation is a reliable way to grow a business. Building the future is better than chasing it. Companies need to rethink ineffective approaches to creating new products and services, re-structure, and streamline to make their investments count. A now never-normal world requires nimble and daring action, the ISO56002 innovation management framework enables this through proven methods.