You Don’t Need a Plumber, You Need a Process.

9 11 2012

Why do most companies suffer from a blockage in their innovation pipeline?

When asked to identify what is blocking ones organization from effectively innovating, business owners rarely answer by indicating that their organizations lack ideas.  With that in mind, why is it the case that when it comes time to “innovate” we typically:

  1. Get a bunch of executives together and “brainstorm” ideas.
  2. Sit in a dark room alone and contemplate innovations.
  3. Read books, magazines or anything possible to spark innovative solutions.

So when I am referred to as my company’s “idea guy”, I cringe.  Ideas are truly a dime a dozen or like belly buttons, everyone has one.  There is something much more impactful to our organizations than a great idea.

The greatest challenge and that which separates the good companies from the awesome companies is in determining which innovative idea should be pursued?  Our failure to choose wisely or at all is the ultimate innovation bottleneck facing our businesses.  Break this blockage and open up a world of opportunity, growth and sustainability to your organization.

How does your company select strategic innovations?

  • Does your company choose innovative initiatives based on the idea that came from the person with the most    powerful title?
  • Perhaps your organization selects based on who presents with the most passion or with the highest volume in their voice.
  • Does your executive team play the “my turn” innovation game, which gives each executive a chance for their favorite idea to be tested.

All of the above methods of selection fall short of the process necessary for enhancing your chances for success.  We need to develop a process, agree on the process and follow the process.  Without a process for innovation, your organization runs the risk of innovating too much or too little.  If we do not follow a process, we may focus precious resources on innovative ideas that do not have the greatest benefit possible.  If we fail to be disciplined, our organization will innovate in the dark and have very little chance of success.  Here is the process:

  • Agree that innovation is a critical part of your business culture.
  • Agree on the amount of money and resources your department, division or company is willing to budget on innovation.
  • Force all innovative ideas to be presented with a business plan that analyzes the costs (hard costs such as equipment or expenses and soft cost such as time and distraction of people) associated with the concept as well as the potential benefit to the organization.
  • Identify the timeframe associated with testing, proving and implementing the idea.
  • Compare all ideas to determine the priority of each innovation.
  • Identify measurements to determine success or failure following appropriate timeframes.
  • Ideas that prove worthy of corporate commitment must be budgeted outside of the innovation expenses.
  • Ideas that prove unsuccessful will be adjusted or abandoned.
  • Each year, the resources allocated for innovation are replenished and budgeted.

Eye Cubed organizations have vision for inspiration, innovation and implementation.  They maintain the discipline of consistent innovation coupled with a defined process adhered to by all.  The result is measured risk with the greatest possibility of reward.

If you, your company, your industry conference or team is in need of the best keynote speaker, motivational management consultant, or inspirational presenter for your conference, strategic planning meeting or for professional development, click on these words and see how Eye-Cubed-U is prepared to help you. 




4 responses

9 11 2012

Amazing how simple it can be to communicate with people and have them understand a certain topic, you made my day.

Local plumber

15 11 2012
Dain Dunston (@DainDunston)

“So when I am referred to as my company’s “idea guy”, I cringe. Ideas are truly a dime a dozen or like belly buttons, everyone has one.”

David, I love this. I remember when one of the big consulting companies had a billboard in all the airports that read, “A great idea is a job half done.” What nonsense! A great idea is nothing until it’s executed and put into action. And as you point out, it’s not a great idea unless it’s the right idea: right for your customers, right for your company, right for the times.

In our book, “Nanovation,” we looked at the ways great companies inspire the generation of ideas and turn them into innovations that change the world. As you put it, creating Inspiration (the generation of ideas), Innovation (the conversion of ideas into tangible products and processes) and Implementation (getting those innovations into the world.)

Great work!

15 11 2012
David Sussman

I cant wait to read your book. I am ordering it today. Seems as if we are totally alligned with our thoughts. Im looking forward to developing the Eye-Cubed University and delivering value as a thought leader. You’ve inspired me today. Thanks again.

10 10 2013
Donald Lim

Hi all,

I am fully agreed the above. As what I do understand the words of “Process for Innovation” is very much related to what we focusing on and how we want the organisation culture to be shaped into the direction. It is easy to say on paper than execution as many factors are involved. The most critical factor is human factor. Having said that, along the line, too many processes created by the people in the organisation might off track from the direction instead of innovation become something else.

What is Process? It can be a path to the goal, it can be steps for routine jobs and etc. In reality, people in an organisation tend to take process as track recorder when things does not go well or reporting purpose. Also, the unnecessary process might become a blind spot for the innovative direction.

As conclusion, I think the process fro innovation should closely linked to the vision and mission statement of the organisation. The most important thing, the key person of the organisation should have the same understanding of “PROCESS”.


Donald Lim.

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