Are we moving towards integrated software for innovation management?

Software innovationWhat is striking me recently is the upsurge in the software being specifically designed for managing innovation. The competition seems to be warming up in the more ‘standalone’ out-of-the box segment and the innovation tools being provided are certainly accelerating the innovation process.

The software being provided is going well beyond the simply mining and capturing of promising ideas. The solutions are moving into sound idea enrichment, evaluation processes and managing a portfolio of innovation in more holistic ways.

The providers here, namely Hype, Brightidea, Spigit, Imaginatik and a growing group of others have been significantly improving their ‘front end’ offerings to capture and develop concepts- They are increasingly turning their attentions to the ‘back end’ and support with greater focuses on governance, knowledge repositories, campaign cockpits, evaluation and dialogue exchange mechanisms. Mobility has also been a growing feature to capture innovation ‘on the go’.

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Living through 2013 on a meal of innovation alone

Making resolutions that work for the new year just seem never easy to keep. Our resolve weakens or we get distracted as the year evolves. For a business I regard the equivalent of resolutions as statements of intent, but they do need to be backed up by underlying logic. I’ve been working on these, getting perhaps a little more innovation fit.

I see as we move into 2013 a real need to become far more focused than ever. Here, first in a visual and then in a short summary that I’ve reflected upon in the last few weeks, is where I need to place myself for the challenges we all face in 2013 to offer helpful, thoughtful solutions that provide positive outcomes around innovation activities.

Turning intent into delivery

2013 is going to be a very tough year.

I feel the uncertainties across business and our economies in the West have magnified. There will be more demands placed on organizations to find innovative solutions yet their ‘risk appetite’ will be even more pronounced and guarded.

We will need to “convert and drive” innovation far more in faster, in more imaginative ways. The opportunities to “exploit and extend“, to “experiment and explore” will be even more at a premium to undertake, far more focused, balanced out and disciplined in execution. Good execution will be at a real premium in its need in 2013.

The ‘push’ will come from finding that “constant sense of renewal” to deal with rapidly changing market conditions that keep connected with the real needs of our consumers as their fortunes and reactions fluctuate. We need to stay highly focused and rapidly “tuned in” to emerging opportunities and become more agile and flexible to deliver on these as quickly as possible. I just can’t see 2013 as a ‘business as usual’ year in any shape or form.

What does this mean for me and my business?

  • For me, I need to focus down on a few selected innovation concepts that support in this time of increasing challenge. I equally need to shape up in what I provide.
  • I see the real increasing need for understanding of innovation and what is needed to do the exact job required. It cannot be simply left to chance and kept open, it needs to have a much tighter context in its delivery value. We will need a greater ‘tightness and alignment’ within our innovation activities and I need to support that.
  • I need to encourage greater speed, reaction in timing, help in validating risk for innovation execution, and what and where it can have the maximum impact, that so much more to deliver more effectively.
  • I need to convert more activity into supporting clients successful outcomes, that support the environment and the challenges presented.
  • My role is to simplify, to decode, to explain, to convert, to seek out and help in removing barriers to execution.

I seek to become the “innovation translation point” for those challenges.

There is a huge need to understand innovation, to be clear, to know the impact of your actions, to have relevant timely solutions that delivers the support on your needs and challenges.

How we set about tackling the issues and challenges we will be facing in the year ahead will be crucial to ‘seeing beyond’ 2013. Knowing where and what you can offer as clear in tangible benefits and outcomes through the solutions you provide will simply need sharper translation points.

Translation for that right delivery need, more than ever, especially as an external innovation adviser becomes essential to stay focused upon.

One challenging resolution I need to keep in 2013. Have you made yours yet?