Three Critical Ingredients for Innovation

Our firm, the Southern Growth Studio, helps many companies with innovation. We help with projects labeled as innovation and we also consult on how companies set up the processes, framework, and governance for successful innovation.

Based on our experience, we know that three key things must be in place for innovation to flourish. If innovation is to become the No. 1 strategy priority to drive growth and wealth creation, these three ingredients must be in place.

First, senior management commitment. Innovation must be in the company’s vision, goals, and metrics – and conversations must take place about innovations on a continuous basis. Innovation needs to be valued and practiced as a core disciple of the firm. Senior leaders need to model this importance. Senior management commitment is more than twice as important as any other factor in determining the success of innovation at a company.

Second, teams over technology. Innovation isn’t about the collaboration software. It’s about people. Multi-disciplinary teams who follow a process with an open spirit of collaboration score best.

Third, define types of innovation. Incremental innovations are wholly different animals compared to breakthrough, game-changing innovations. Define the objective of each project or mission with care so you can better manage expectations.

With these three ingredients in place, a company can use innovation to fuel organic growth.