Keep your eye on the prize: a clear goal is dimension 3 of successful innovation

They say that fortune favours the bold, and in business innovation it is most certainly the case. The most life-changing ideas have come from those innovation leaders with audacious goals and a broad sense of purpose, going well beyond an organisation’s existing status quo.

You should align this purpose with your ambitions and your expectations,. Translate them into a plan, ensuring that all the right cogs are in place to propel the innovation machine into 2020 and beyond.

As well as implementing a people-first strategy, your vision should go beyond the next big idea. Dimension 3 is about establishing a clear goal. It looks out how you should envision short-, medium- and long-term innovations and incorporate specific, tangible goals in your innovation agenda, at both macro and micro levels.

 

Define and measure

In his book ‘Measure What Matters’, investor John Doerr lays out the goal-setting technique used by the likes of Google, LinkedIn and Spotify. The Objectives and Key Results (OKR) framework helps organisations define goals and track the outcome.

The formula involves setting an objective (“what I want to have accomplished”) and the key results (“how I’m going to get it done”) to drive focus, agility and growth, foster coordination, keep employees on track and enhance workplace satisfaction.

Once these strategic and operational goals are established, you should communicate them clearly and continuously to the community (set as specific challenges), as well as the subsequent results. The numbers, of course, will speak for themselves, such as ROI, participation numbers, engagement levels and amount of ideas.

However, the success of the initiative goes beyond that. This can best be seen in the intangible results, such as the stories, the people who share the ideas, the value each one creates, happiness at work, and so on.

In order to be able to measure this broad range of impactful results, both tangible and intangible, you need to have a methodology in place, from setting goals to establishing KPIs, throughout your innovation challenge.

 

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