• Alexis Snelling

What Your Innovation Process Should Look Like



Summary.

For innovation to contribute to a company or government agency, it needs to be designed as a process from start to deployment. When organizations lack a formal innovation pipeline process, project approvals tend to be based on who has the best demo or slides, or who lobbies the hardest. A canonical Lean Innovation process inside a company or government agency would include sourcing, curation, prioritization, hypothesis testing and exploration, incubation, and integration.

 

Following Article by Steve Blank

As Director of the U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force Pete Newell delivered innovation at speed and scale in the Department of Defense. Pete is now CEO of BMNT, a company that delivers innovation solutions and processes for governments.

Here are Pete’s 5 principles that will accelerate innovation.


To help a large Defense organization wrestle with how to increase the velocity of innovation in their ranks Steve Blank and I spent the better part of last week with our heads together reviewing everything we learned in the five years since we merged the concepts of problem curation and Lean while launching the innovation pipeline.


The original Innovation Pipeline sketch – 2016

Whether it is an agency cross-functional team or a university-based “Hacking for” team we are accelerating, five key concepts drive the foundation for this increasing pace of learning and solution delivery. They are

  1. The power of Lean Methodology is supercharged when discovery begins with a well-curated and prioritized problem. Getting to one well-curated problem requires access to a source of hundreds of them.

  2. Problem curation doesn’t stop until discovery is complete — the process of trying to discover the solution to a problem helps define the actual problem (and for .gov folks the actual requirement for the future solution).

  3. Stakeholder mapping and nailing the value propositions for beneficiaries, buyers, supporters, advocates and potential saboteurs are critical to building a pathway through the phases of the innovation pipeline and transitioning a solution to deployment.

  4. The key to understanding value propositions is in building interviews that are based on a set of hypotheses (about the problem, the stakeholder and potential solutions to be explored) and data to be captured while using minimum viable products (just enough “product” to increase the efficacy of a conversation and increase the speed of learning).

  5. Innovation happens because of people and it takes a village. Whether academic-based like our Hacking for Defense teams or internal organizational Integrated Product or Cross-Functional Teams (IPTs/CFTs), accelerator teams perform best when supported by:

  6. Teachers – who can ground teams in a common framework and language for the discipline of innovation and entrepreneurship.

  7. Coaches – who can walk teams through the practical application of innovation tools in context with the problem they are trying to solve.

  8. Mentors – who will provide relentlessly direct feedback to teams and challenge them on the quality of the hypotheses, MVPs and the analysis of what they’ve learned, while driving them through each pivot rather than letting them get bogged down in “analysis paralysis.”

  9. Advisors – who will provide alternative viewpoints that will enable teams to see clearer pathways through bureaucracies.

  10. Connectors – who will help teams rapidly grow their networks to gain new insights from unique partners not yet discovered.

If your organization is running innovation activities or an accelerator and these five principles aren’t part of their program they are likely wasting your organization’s time and resources, and contributing to Innovation Theater instead of deploying solutions to real problems.

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Next up we’ll dig into how the innovation pipeline serves a parallel process for managing innovation




Enterprise Innovation for the 21st Century

Today’s environment requires separate systems for innovation and execution that operate with parallel and sometimes overlapping processes.


WeTransact.live is the next gen of innovation platforms to dynamically guide, track and evolve with the organization to create more effective innovative outcomes together.






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