Innovation is not a process

Innovation by its very definition is about something new. How can a process to create something new?

Crank the handle – huzzah innovation done!! Let’s have some more of that then!! 

Isn’t innovation the antithesis of process? Isn’t innovation about changing or improving current processes, re-visioning the current state, challenging the status quo, disrupting existing norms?

Now don’t get me wrong – improving and finding incremental improvement in existing structures and systems is not the kind of innovation(?) I am talking about – that’s business as usual, or should be in a continuous improvement culture anyway.

The activities of technology research and development, starting a new business, undertaking a major transformation all embody a high degree of uncertainty but with a specific objective and embody a degree of risk.

What I am getting at is not to think of innovation as a process – which then lends itself to treating innovation as a series of procedural steps, but rather in context of framework for control.

Innovation does needs a framework – a framework approach to setting an objective that allows creativity, thinking, risk appetite and management (not avoidance), and courage in decision making.

A framework provides for objectives to be set, milestones for progress, measures for success, room to create and adapt, means to monitor and control risks, and the basis for which decisions can be made.

Innovation is about building something new – think of it as raising children (okay maybe not that hard), but you get the idea. There is a lot of uncertainty, delivers a few lessons and sometimes the answer is no.

It’s hard – be brave

An experienced Innovation Leader working in the strategic Innovation Management, New Venture creation and support, and Translation and Commercialisation of Research and Innovation. His experience includes making some mistakes...

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