When you put it all together, innovation is not a solitary endeavor. You need collaboration. But how do you do that? Where does it fit in the process? Most importantly…HOW DO YOU GET THERE? The road is laid out in front of you today. Simply put one foot in front of the other, and soon you will be walking towards Eye-Cubed greatness. Do not trip along the way!
- Own the idea/innovation or solution. This is the toughest step but necessary to get your innovative idea into the pipeline. Use all of the resources available to you to evaluate the innovation, analyze the cost structure and strategize about the implementation.
- Develop the innovation as far as you can on your own. Run with it. Map out the plan. Come up with as many obsticles as possible. Overcome as many objections as you can foresee. What technology will you need? What resources are anticipated? How long will the solution take to implement?
- Meet with individuals/ key execs (one on one) to get buy-in and gauge the reaction or objections to your idea. If you think about the solution day and night, you will have made the ‘Kool aide’ and have been drinking it all along. Others need to be brought up to speed to where you are. Tell the story with energy and conviction. You need to sell the innovation. Then do the hardest thing possible…. SHUT UP and listen. Remind yourself that everyone has the power and capability to enhance your idea, uncover real concerns that can be overcome and add tremendous value to the innovative process. This buy-in is a critical step in getting your innovation to the drawing board. Do not come up short here.
- Listen to others for enhancements, add-ons that build on original thought. Take all of the ideas and bring them forward with you to the next meeting. Your innovation will take incredible shape and breathe a life of its own. Momentum will build along the way as your team joins you on the Yellow Brick Road.
- Pull team together for a green-light thinking/brainstorm session. Guide the discussion with strategic participation. While everyone has participated individually, this is a time for the team to own the project. Everyone will have an opportunity to build upon and enhance the idea further. Avoid the common pitfall of doing this step too early. You will end up with a watered-down version of your idea or concept. What your company needs is the direction necessary to lead through the innovation process.
- Gain commitment from leadership to pursue innovation. You need resources and time to execute the plan. Agree on both and you are on your way! Make sure you uncover the hard costs ($$$) needed as well as the softs costs (time and personnel from other departments within your company) that will result from the project.
Successful green light sessions have direction and a plan. When you follow the Yellow Brick Road towards collaborative innovation, you already know the objections, enhancements, concerns and interest level. You are way ahead of the game when you do the necessary work ahead of time!
Innovation needs direction, leadership and strategy. To be considered an Eye-Cubed leader with the “Innovator” quality, you need to have the answers, not just the questions. Everyone knows the questions. To find the answers, simply Follow The Ye____ Br___ Ro__!